Sur Echalas Vineyard Grenache | Horsepower Vineyards Horsepower Vineyards - Pure Wines from the Walla Walla Valley
A bottle of Horsepower Vineyards wine

Grenache Sur Echalas Vineyard

Produced: 2011-present

Professional reviews and tasting notes from prior vintages added as published. Scores within parentheses indicate barrel samples:

2018 Horsepower Vineyards Grenache Sur Echalas Vineyard

100 Points

The 2018 Sur Echalas Grenache is a blockbuster wine that shows complexity impossible to attain in North America. Undergoing nearly all whole cluster fermentation, the Grenache was then stored entirely in used demi-muids prior to bottling botting. Right away a dusting of white pepper and Umami tones deftly combine with shades of green olive tapenade, wet stones, guava puree and Linzer torte. The sense of finesse and tension in the wine is nothing short of impeccable. The wine is utterly seamless. Layers of ripe red currants and cranberries, deftly combine with suggestions of bulls blood, rose water and pomegranate seed flavors. As you dig in, more notes Nori emerge with green peppercorns, Mandarin orange zest, black truffle shavings, salted charcuterie, damp stones and wild blackberry compote. I have yet to find a wine this year that offers this degree of flavor complexity. Quite simply, the 2018 Sur Echalas Vineyard Grenache is a monumental wine from this vintage that is drinking magically now and will provide drinking enjoyment for the next decade. —Owen Bargreen,

96+ Points

There are two Grenache cuvées under the Horsepower label, both single vineyards. Starting with the 2018 Grenache Sur Echalas Vineyard, it has a deeper ruby/plum color as well as a spectacular nose of ripe cherry and strawberry fruits intermixed with lots of white pepper, dried flowers, orange blossom, and sandalwood. With medium to full-bodied richness, firm tannins, and beautiful depth of fruit on the palate, it might be the closest thing to Rayas that I've tasted, from anywhere. It remains to be seen if this can evolve into the same category at maturity, but no kidding around, this is a beautiful, elegant, seamless Grenache... –Jeb Dunnuck,

2017 Horsepower Vineyards Grenache Sur Echalas Vineyard

99 Points

The intoxicating bouquet catches you off-guard. Layers of guava puree and red cherry starburst candy combine with horse manure, green peppercorns and cigar ash with potpourri and salted meats. The aromatic range is just insanely good. Once on the mouth, the ‘Sur Echalas Vineyard’ Grenache offers a pillowy texture that borders on ethereal. The finesse and beautiful tension runs through the core of bright red fruits that dance with kumquat zest, cigar box, white pepper and salted prosciutto ham on the palate. While quite big on the mouth, the weightless quality of the wine is superlative. A monumental wine that is amongst the best of its kind in North America, the 2017 ‘Sur Echalas Vineyard’ Grenache will provide drinking enjoyment over the next decade. —Owen Bargreen,

97 Points

Power and elegance. The 2017 Grenache Sur Echalas Vineyard bangs with bright red fruit character with fantastic clarity and a pure sense of underlying terroir at its core. Intoxicating floral aromas of Sakura, crushed rose petals and hints of lavender flood the senses first, followed by layers of wild strawberries, bright cherry skin and crushed raspberries in the glass. It is medium-bodied on the palate, with delicate savory and spice tones that fade in and out between the seductive red fruit and floral notes, giving way to an impeccably balanced structure with energetic acidity and a robust shine and gleam to the fruit. An instant success, the palate is full of flavor and mouth-watering juiciness without being overripe. Immensely pleasureful, the wine delivers an elongated yet compact finish that continues to evolve and unpack in the mouth with persistence. Hands-down, it's a winner! —Anthony Mueller, The Wine Advocate

97 Points

…This beauty is the spitting image of a great vintage of Rayas and offers a complex bouquet of black raspberries, white pepper, spring flowers, and sappy herbs. These all carry to a medium to full-bodied, ethereal Grenache that has a light, graceful texture, silky tannins, and a great finish. It shows the more elegant, almost Pinot Noir-like style of Grenache on the palate and is flawlessly balanced. Just a singular, remarkable wine… –Jeb Dunnuck,

94 Points

The aromas of dried strawberries and cloves are really pretty. It’s full-bodied with ultra-fine tannins that frame a balance of harmonious, ripe fruit. Touch of bitterness on the finish. Extremely long and thoughtful here. —James Suckling,

94 Points

Dynamic yet refined, featuring a brooding core of dark blueberry fruit, surrounded by rich raspberry, bacon fat and slate accents that build tension toward medium-bodied tannins. Drink now through 2028. —Tim Fish, Wine Spectator

2016 Horsepower Vineyards Grenache Sur Echalas Vineyard

97 Points

Szechuan pepper, gun powder, strawberries, raspberries, and salted meats (an incredible mix of sweet and sour), the 2016 Grenache Sur Echalas Vineyard hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a layered, silky texture, tons of savory, meaty characteristics, and a great finish. It’s a singular, exotic, beautifully complete Grenache that has a touch of Burgundy in its layered, gorgeous style. –Jeb Dunnuck,

96 Points

Wow—now this is a seductive Grenache! The 2016 Grenache Sur Echalas Vineyard has power and elegance with dark red chewy fruit that has an underlying dustiness to the core. The nose reveals a sleeping giant with a multitude of expressions ready at a moment's notice. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, the wine is eerily soft but jam-packed with dusty sweet strawberries, raspberries wrapped in red flower petals and a smoky flavor that fades in and out throughout the mid-palate. It brings immense pleasure... The wine is sumptuous, plush and mineral-driven, lingering long on the finish with a hint of reduction and secondary flavors of soft, worn leather, black tea and black spice. This is an impressive Grenache. I think I am entirely smitten... –Anthony Mueller, The Wine Advocate

94 Points

Distinctive, yet well-knit and sleek, with boldly expressive cherry and blueberry flavors, accented by black olive, bacon fat and crushed stone. Drink now through 2026. –Tim Fish, Wine Spectator

2015 Horsepower Vineyards Grenache Sur Echalas Vineyard

98 Points

...stunning, wafting from the glass with a captivating bouquet that features floral top notes of roses and peony, savory nuances of rich coniferous forest floor and bouillon, overlaying a sapid base of ripe cherry and strawberry. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, immensely intense and mouthwateringly savory, with incredible complexity and stony depth. The finish is long and saline... –William Kelley, The Wine Advocate

97 Points

The aromas are haunting, with notes of white and black pepper, peat, potpourri, green olive, orange blossom, grilled asparagus and smoked meat. The palate shows incredible texture and detail, but the story here is truly the finish—a full minute-plus investment worth every thrilling moment. It's hard to tell exactly when it stops. A complete mind- and palate-bending stunner—one of the defining wines of the vintage. Best from 2020–2030. –Sean Sullivan, Wine Enthusiast

(95-98) Points

Smelling just like a young vintage of Rayas with its rose petal, crushed strawberry, white pepper and hints of lavender, the 2015 Grenache Sur Echalas Vineyard is seamless, layered, full-bodied and incredibly long on the palate. It shows more Cayuse notes of olive brine and salt on the palate, has building tannin and is a gorgeous wine. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

2014 Horsepower Vineyards Grenache Sur Echalas Vineyard

99 Points

Reminding me of a hypothetical mix of blood and herbs (blood sausage?), with notes of earth, mushrooms, rose petal and strawberries, the 2014 Grenache Sur Echalas Vineyard is full-bodied, exotic and seamless, with building tannin and a gorgeous saltiness on the finish. Like these latest 2014s, it opens up with time in the glass, has a layered, elegant and incredibly long finish, and perfectly polished tannin. It's not Rayas, it's not Chateauneuf du Pape, it's an incredible, singular wine that stands on its own. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

94 Points

Expressive and distinctive, with smoky meat, raspberry and garrigue aromas and gracefully complex cherry, olive and crushed stone flavors that linger toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2023. 202 cases made. –Tim Fish, Wine Spectator

2013 Horsepower Vineyards Grenache Sur Echalas Vineyard

95 Points

…sports a transparent ruby color to go with classic Grenache notes of wild strawberries, peppery herbs, licorice, hints of iron and good minerality that comes out more on the finish. Similar in style to the 2012, with a savory edge, this medium to full-bodied beauty has fine tannin, a supple, sexy texture and a great finish. It should hit prime time around age 4-6 and drink nicely through 2028. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

94 Points

Deep and expressive, offering rose petal-accented cherry, blackberry, roasted lamb and black olive flavors that float over a richly textured, open-weave structure. Finishes long and vibrant. Drink now through 2021. 207 cases made. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

2012 Horsepower Vineyards Grenache Sur Echalas Vineyard

(97-99 Points)

The 2012 Grenache Sur Echalas Vineyard is Rayas like in its kirsch, green herbs, rose petal, flowers and assorted spices. Full-bodied, beautifully concentrated, yet also graceful and light on its feet, this incredible effort flirts with perfection and should have 15-20 years of longevity. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

96 Points

Dark, dense and focused, yet surprisingly light-footed, layering chalk and wet rock minerality through the ripe and meaty cherry and clotted cream flavors. Complex and inviting, this is long as a midsummer day. Drink now through 2025. 203 cases made. –Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

94? Points

Moderately saturated medium red. Mesmerizing aromas of raspberry, peony, garrigue, smoke and earth; would anyone not pick this blind as a French wine? Dry, saline and superconcentrated, with raspberry and earth flavors conveying superb penetration and energy. Finishes with big, dusty tannins and outstanding length and spicy lift. A great American Grenache. –Steven Tanzer, Vinous

2011 Horsepower Vineyards Grenache Sur Echalas Vineyard

97 Points

The 2011 Grenache Sur Echalas Vineyard is a sensational blend of 100% Grenache that comes all from a vineyard located just to the west of Cayuse’s Armada Vineyard. Planted to 4,840 vines per acre, it’s farmed completely by horse. Showing every bit as well from bottle as from barrel, it offers up layers of pepper, smoked herbs, gunpowder and black fruits to go with a deep, structured style on the palate. Incredibly concentrated, especially in the vintage, it has a gracefully, balanced feel before firming up substantially on the finish. Give this beauty 2-3 years of bottle age and enjoy over the following decade. Unfortunately, there are only 131 cases of it to go around, so if you get the opportunity to grab some bottles, don’t miss it. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate