George and Martha Besson’s old Grenache vineyard near Gilroy is one of the two or three best sites with which we work. It could be nothing but Grenache, yet tastes like no other Grenache. While the wines ultimately revert to their highly refined center of gravity as they resolve some time 4 or 5 years after bottling - an elegant composition of tertiary spices, fruit liqueur and alpine botanical extracts - Besson Grenache generally comes out of the gate dominated by one of those elements. The 2018 falls squarely in the liqueur corner, the effect of the rested fraction of the grapes being at least temporarily buried beneath the considerable cherriosity. This vintage is quite reminiscent of the 2014, one of our favorite vintages, at the same stage of development. Continuing our practice begun in 2012, a small percentage of the grapes are “rested” post-harvest in small picking boxes for roughly 10 days prior to destemming and recombination. That fraction, lovingly called the skonkwerks, undergoes a 6-week fermentation/maceration on it skins. The skonkwerks fraction becomes significantly more tannic and botanical than the main lot, and is the source for the very small Hommage bottling one or two of you may have encountered. It is here the Ninja tannins are born, the alpine/aromatized quality amplified, and the essential marker of the great Besson Vineyard crystalized.