Skylark Grenache 2016
Mendocino County, California
Co-owners John Lancaster and Rob Perkins are the minds behind Skylark. Besides running Skylark, they're veteran sommeliers, responsible for setting the standard in hospitality across numerous flagship Bay Area restaurants. Among many other destinations, together they ran the beverage department at Boulevard, one of the most distinguished and iconic restaurants in San Francisco. Rob is now full-time making wine at Skylark while John still, amazingly, runs Boulevard – since 1996 and counting!
Their Grenache comes from Charlie Sawyer's vineyard in Ukiah County, Mendocino, overlooking Lake Mendocino and the entire Ukiah valley. In the model of a southern-Rhône red, it's a plush, exotically-spiced and plum-inflected red. Totally delicious and drinkable.
The nose shows lovely notes of black licorice, candied raspberries and violet pastille candies on the nose. The palate shows a distinct California palate, with cola, bing cherry, red plum, bouquets of dried flower, pink peppercorn, and chewy smooth tannins. Sensual, full and rich, and plenty of gas left in the tank to continue to age gracefully.
I can confidently say that I wouldn't be where I am today were it not for the example Rob and John set with their combination of gracious warmth, deep knowledge, and an unyielding passion for the hospitality business. And I'm not alone - their camaraderie and steady leadership have molded innumerable careers. With Skylark, they produce uncompromising wines of quality and value inspired by the old-world, with a distinctly Cali soul.
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