Swick Wines 2016 Grenache Blanc

Raw, naked, and all natural.

Joe Swick only listens to acoustic music, never electronic. Joe Swick reads the book and skips the movie. Joe Swick plays basketball in canvas sneakers, not the latest Air Jordans. And Joe Swick always drinks his bourbon neat.

Is any of that true? I don’t know. But given how he makes his wine, it probably is.

Swick Wines is a mere four years old, but winemaker Joe Swick is already capturing a lot of attention. Why? Because he makes his wines as raw and naked as he can make them. As he’s fond of saying, “I like the real deal. No maquillage.” (That’s French for “cosmetics”.) Working ten years – and fifteen harvests – around the world in Portugal, Italy, New Zealand, Tasmania and California, Joe came away with one simple idea: Let the fruit shine.

Use organic grapes, biodynamic processes, and minimal intervention. Use very little oak and no chemical additions. Use the barest hint of sulfur only when absolutely necessary and no fining or filtering. Keep oxygen out so that the wines are bright and fresh, pushing the fruit to the forefront.

A lot of winemakers are wizards in the winery. Joe Swick’s magic is in leaving it alone.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Swick Wines, Newberg, Oregon
2016 Grenache Blanc

This is the second Grenache Blanc we’ve featured and it is quickly becoming one of our favorite varietals. An unusual grape that is hard to find, these grapes come from the Columbia Valley AVA. This isn’t just a white version of the more widely recognized red Grenache, but a unique varietal all its own.

Complex and unique white wines are hard to make and hard to find. Joe Swick has a passion and a knack for making high quality quirky white wines. The grapes were kept on their skins for a month before they were pressed giving the wine this lovely light orange color and imparting some light tannins and a savory quality to the wine. Unfiltered, this wine is intentionally cloudy – to preserve its natural flavors.

With a vibrant acidic undertone, the wine smells of orange blossoms and lime zest while flavors of apple and spice come through on the palate. The skin contact also gives it a nice texture and a remarkably long finish. This is a great food wine that will go well with most anything – try shrimp tempura, roasted pork or chicken, grilled lamb, or braised short ribs!

A Cellar 503 selection in August 2017, Picnic & BBQ Wines Columbia Valley | Grenache Blanc

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