2011 Pyrenees Grenache $5.99

Produced & Bottled by: Pyrenees Vineyard & Cellars
ABV: 14.3%
Purchased: Salem, OR 11-5-2014

IMG_0720Ok. I admit it, I had trepidation about this wine. Given Lim13’s review on the 2009 Pyrenees Cabernet as well as his reviews on the 2010 & 2011 Meritage. I wasn’t hanging my hat on this one. Yet, even as I say that, a friend of mine (who does not buy duplicate bottles at GO until she knows she loves the wine) has already been back to re-purchase it twice.

Pyrenees Vineyard is in the Umpqua Valley AVA, situated close to I-5 just south of Winston, OR. Abacela (my favorite UV vineyard) is just slightly northwest of Pyrenees (that’s the only reason I know where it’s located). Until now I’ve never tasted Pyrenees wine.

This Grenache is still selling at the vineyard for $37/bottle. Grocery Outlet also is currently carrying the 2009 Merlot (still selling at the vineyard for $32/bottle) and the 2011 Syrah (not available at the vineyard). I did purchase all three (I believe GO price on all three is $5.99/bottle), at the wine sale, to taste test for the blog.

Thoughts: “Wow, this is good.” Yes, I did just quote myself. lol But that was my first thought. Then “Fruity, dry-ish and spicy.”

The vineyard PR blurb says this “The bouquet bursts open with bright red raspberry, juicy plum, and candied cherry followed by a surprise of marionberry and cranberry tart finish.”

I agree, nearly across the board (except that I don’t really get the “candied cherry”). Taste is very similar to the bouquet and really only have to add that there is a slight spiciness in the wine, more due to the higher alcohol content than any baking spices. It balances the fruit (this wine is fruit forward but thankfully not sweet). The fruit mellows and the wine is more smooth as it opens up. No, it’s not super-dimensional, if you are looking for that style, but to me, it is very tasty and still an excellent deal at $5.99.  The wine opens with a screw cap top; although these days, that’s so not indicative of quality, I mostly forget to mention it.

This has been such an odd wine sale. I don’t find myself gravitating to fruit forward wines as a rule and yet several of the wines I’ve really enjoyed from GO of late have been quite fruit forward. So there’s no accounting for how my tastes will vary, apparently. I have not yet tried the Merlot or Syrah but I’d buy more of this in a heartbeat. In fact, I called Salem to see if this was still in stock. The owner tells me that they only have a “couple of cases” but she’s going to check with the buyer to see if there’s any more available. She said they also have a couple of cases each of the Merlot and the Syrah. Albany only has the Syrah, Corvallis, tmk, has none.

I will update this post with additional availability when I find out.


17 thoughts on “2011 Pyrenees Grenache $5.99

  1. RB

    A few wine sales ago I stocked up on the Pyrenees Tempranillo and Syrah (both 2010), which were both very much to my liking. Not everyone saw these varietals, so I felt lucky. Still have a couple bottles of the Syrah. Hoping to see that Grenache show up in Olympia.

  2. permiesworld Post author

    Stopped by Salem grocery outlet today. Apparently sometime between last night and when I got there today, someone had bought the better part of two cases. There were only a couple bottles left on the shelf just FYI. I didn’t get a chance to talk to the owner so I don’t know if they’re getting any more in.

  3. Ashlander

    Being from S. Oregon, I really want to like these wines, but similarly to many here, I was not impressed with the Meritage’s. I saw the 09 Merlot and decided to give it a try. Unfortunately I was again disapointed. Pretty closed. Not much substance. A little better the second day but not by much. IMO Pyrenees is no Cliff Creek. I will try that Grenache if it shows up at the local GO.

  4. Misspix

    I am ‘the friend’ that Permie has referred to upon occasion. Thought I would add my two cents on the Pyreneese Grenache.
    First, let me say that I will try any Grenache and any Tempranillo, at least once. Second, I have sampled many Pyreneese wines, with varied results. I will agree with Flitcraft on the statement ‘there seems to be a spectrum of palatability’ from this winery. (FWIW, I am not fond of their Cab).
    Back to the bottle at hand, I found it very good. Not as deep as most Grenache, to be honest, but I have now enjoyed three bottles and will buy more. My thought at first sip was ‘hmmm, this is like a sassy Pinot’.
    I appreciate a dry wine with heat and spice, this wine delivered that and frankly, is just good. Easy to drink but not bland or boring. Not only on day one, but on day two as well. This wine holds well. There was no further opening, but there was absolutely no loss, either. On a final note, I would gift this wine to a fellow Grenache appreciator.

  5. flitcraft

    I haven’t tried this one–having just gotten back to the Pacific Northwest after an extended absence–but I will say that there seems to be a spectrum of palatability in the Pyrenees wines. When they first appeared at GO about a year or so ago, we tried the meritages and the cab and didn’t like them at all. But the tempranillo was swell, as I recall–though I don’t remember enough to be more specific. So it seems that for me at least, it’s a varietal by varietal matter with this winery…

    1. permiesworld Post author

      I seem to remember someone posting about the Tempranillo as well, but I couldn’t find it. It’s entirely possible (your varietal by varietal) thoughts for that particular vineyard. In general, I’m not a fan of Oregon cabernet, so it’s unlikely that I’d appreciate it in any vineyard (haven’t found one yet) and explains why I never bought the cab or cab blends last go around. Frankly, I don’t really appreciate WA Cab either, it’s just not been to my taste (the ones I’ve tasted so far, admittedly after disliking the first dozen or so, I haven’t pursued it further). I much prefer WA Merlot and Syrah but I’ll stick with CA cabs (or other countries). Re: Oregon, I seem to always prefer the Tempranillo (Abacela in particular makes a beautiful Tempranillo) and Grenache from the Umpqua Valley (for reds) and Pinot Noir for the Willamette Valley. Although my one exception is Umpqua’s Tesoaria Vineyard wines. Their Baco Noir is divine (only place I’ve ever found it…amazing), so is their Bull’s Blood (hate the name but love the wine).

      Regarding the Pyrenees vineyard in general, with this being my first bottle of their wine, not having been through the previous wines posted here on the blog, I am wondering how the other two will taste. If it wasn’t such a waste to open them all at once, I would…do a “quasi-vertical” (of the options available at GO) tasting.

    1. lim13

      I don’t know about CA, but water’s cheaper for fires up here in WA than that swill. What’s killing me is that some folks are actually lovin’ that stuff…which I suspect has something to do with why we continue to see piles of it. There’s lots of it up here too. And as for the Pyrenees, after my previous experiences, I’d be hard-pressed to buy anything else from them.

      1. permiesworld Post author

        I haven’t tried the others but tomorrow, I am going to pick up a couple of more bottles of this Grenache. I don’t re-buy unless I like it and, I do.

        Obviously some like the Panther Creek as well, although I wouldn’t recommend the one currently on the shelves at GO, but it’s obviously selling.

        But like I said on my other blog…wine is like music. I loathe hip/hop, unashamedly…and some people hate that “long hair classical stuff” that I love…it’s a good thing that there’s a niche for everyone’s taste, just like wine.

      2. jwc

        Kids, buy 1 bottle of Panther Creek, decant it for 4-5 hours, then try it. You could have a nice Oregon pinot in your hands…or you could have swill. Its not a risk, you can always return it. Word of caution, do not sniff the decanter!

        1. permiesworld Post author

          Hey JWC, I did laugh when I read this comment. Missed it last night. It reminded me of a time many moons ago when an old friend suggested I try lutefisk. He said “don’t smell it just taste it”. I have to say that we did open this wine. At least I did. I put it in the decanter but it was more than the decanter that smelled. The house smelled rather sulfer-y. When my husband got home, the first thing out of his mouth was a quote from The Mummy movie “what is that gawd-awful smell?” I had dumped it by then too. And rinsed the sink.

          While I totally appreciate your perserverence, I didn’t have that same drive.

          1. jwc

            Yeah PW, I did mean it kind of tongue in cheek, but it’s been true with the 1 bottle of wine I opened decanted. Have two others, 1 from a wine club bought months ago…same vintage, and 1 from GO. I’m afraid to open either one, 🙂

  6. Seedboy

    Those earlier wines were truly awful, but not as bad as the stinky Oregon pinot that seems to be multiplying in the California stores right now.


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