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 The Rhone Report - June 2012


Jeb Dunnuck was kind enough to come out and taste through these wines in April. You can read all of his reviews at




2011 Denner Rosé



2011 Denner Theresa



2010 Denner Grenache



2010 Denner The Ditch Digger

to be released


2009 Denner Mourvedre



2010 Denner The Dirt Worshipper

to be released


June 2012 Issue The Rhone Report   ~  Jeb Dunnuck's  Tasting Notes

2011 Denner Rosé (USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles) $25 Made from bleed off Mourvedre, Grenache, and Cinsault, the 2011 Denner Rosé is beautifully Provencal in style and delivers a dry, crisp array of orange rind, rose petal, and herbs de Provence to go with a medium to full-bodied, balanced, clean palate feel. Its very well done and is a classic rose that comes in on the full side of the spectrum, yet stays fresh, focused, and dry. It should drink nicely for 1-2 years or more. (90 pts.

2011 Denner Theresa (USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles) Sold-out A blend of 60% Roussanne, 25% Grenache Blanc, and 15% Marsanne that was aged primarily in concrete tank (with half of the blend going through Malolactic fermentation), the 2011 Denner Theresa is a brilliant white that has rich, full aromas of poached pear, honeyed peach, brioche, and hints of hazelnut on the nose. This profile is mirrored on the palate, where it has a medium+ bodied texture, superb freshness and focus, and a building richness the comes through on the finish. Overall, this is a serious white that deserves a classy meal. It should shine for 2-3 years, possibly longer. (91 pts.)

2010 Denner Grenache (USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles) $50 One serious Grenache, the 2010 Denner Grenache (81% Grenache, 12% Syrah, and 7% Counoise) boasts knockout, savory aromas of black cherries, roasted meats, licorice, herbs de Provence, and dusty minerality. This leads to a medium to full-bodied wine that is perfectly balanced, has a firm, chewy texture, and a structured finish that still has some tannin to shed. More than a little impressive and this will stand toe to toe with many a great Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It should drink well for 10-12 years. (93 pts.)

2010 Denner "The Ditch Digger" (USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles) $NA A southern Rhône like blend of 40% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 20% Mourvedre, and the rest Counoise and Cinsault, the 2010 Denner "The Ditch Digger" was fermented with 40% whole-cluster and aged in 30% new, 500-liter barrels. Deep, savory, and mineral-laced, with classic black cherry, olive, pepper, and wild herbs like qualities on the nose, this medium to full-bodied beauty has a structured, balanced feel, solid concentration, and masses of chewy tannin on the finish. While this cuvee is normally approachable on release, there‟s more obvious structure and depth in this 2010 and it warrants 1-3 years in the cellar. It should drink nicely for upwards of a decade. (94 pts.)

2009 Denner Mourvedre (USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles) $55 The 2009 Denner Mourvedre is a blend of 88% Mourvedre and 12% Syrah that spent 18 months in 70% new French oak. It exhibits first-rate aromas of both red and black fruits, smoked meats, wild herbs, and hints of flowers to go with a balanced, medium to full-bodied, structured palate. Despite the structure here, this has excellent concentration, as well as sweet fruit and a supple, polished texture. While excellent now, it will be even better in a handful of years, and should age effortlessly for 12-15 years. (92+ pts.)

2010 Denner The Dirt Worshipper (USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles) Sold-out A thrilling Paso Robles Syrah, the 2010 Denner The Dirt Worshipper (93% Syrah and 7% Viognier that was aged 16 months in 10% new French oak) delivers a drop dead gorgeous bouquet of black raspberry, game, violets, and ground pepper that flows to a medium to full-bodied, focused, and structured palate. There‟s a decidedly northern Rhône like quality here, and the wine has riveting focus and precision on both the nose and palate. Picking up a saline like minerality, as well as building tannin, on the finish, this deserves 2-3 years of bottle age and should age gracefully for 12-15 or more years. (95 pts.)

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