2007 Wente Small Lot GSM

I Had Never Heard of GSM

Yeah, I had to have it explained to me.

“GSM,” when Wente uses it as a wine name, at least, stands for “Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre.” I mentioned to the older gentleman working the tasting room bar that this essentially meant Wente was making a Rhone-style blend. I don’t think he got it.

Lack of proper employee education aside, Wente has made a very nice red blend here, which is 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Mourvedre. On the nose, the wine is surprisingly fruit-forward and jammy. It is rich and sweet and it surprised the hell out of me for a wine primarily made up of Grenache.

The wine tastes pretty significantly different from the way it smells, however. It’s spicy and dry, and all of the jammy fruit notes on the nose seem nowhere to be found. Instead, my mouth was full of really awesome mellow spice notes, like cinnamon and clove. This wine is perfect for winter, and would probably make my list of Thanksgiving-approved wines if it weren’t so hard to find: the Small Lot series of wines from Wente Vineyard are only available at the winery or tasting room (they have two Livermore locations), and then only to club members.

Still, a hell of a Rhone-style blend from one of the Livermore Valley’s premier producers. Recommended.

Verdict: 89/100

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