The first half of the December box. Samuel is a natural garnacha (grenache noir) from Spain.
You'll most likely recognise grenache as one of the grapes often seen in the south of France, yet it origins in Spain. In Sardinia, it goes by connonau, and in Italy as tocai rosso.
In native Spain, it is grown widely and you may often have tasted it as part of Rioja blend. Here, garnacha it provides body and charm to tempranillo. It commonly has aromas of cherry, licorice, raspberry, and strawberry.
Samuel is a lesson in opulence and balance. At 15.3% ABV, this has a gut punch of alcohol to it – which is balanced by the high acidity of this wine. The tannins have been softened by the French oak barrels. Aromawise, this is full of the berries and spices you'd expect. Both complex and endlessly enjoyable – whatever you put in, you'll get out.