Nuanced Grenache - Wine & Spirits Magazine

Nuanced Grenache

Pášxa’s Rockgarden Vineyard in Walla, Walla Washington. (Courtesy of Pášxa)

Pášxa is a new project  from The Walls founder Mike Martin and winemaker Todd Alexander (Force Majeure, Holocene, Beatus, etc.). It bears the name of a Native American term for the area “Pášxapa,” or “Place of the Sunflowers,” from when the area was filled with a wild balsamroot sunflower—one of which adorns the label. Pášxa was founded to explore mostly Rocks vineyard sources and its nuances, despite the fact that this is a place not really thought of as “nuanced.” Still, Alexander finds compelling variations within the basaltic jumble of river cobble, amounting to varying degrees of aromatic funk (Rocks fruit is known for its funk) but also fruit purity and textural polish. For the grenache he uses large neutral vessels so as not to get in the way of these variations. This fruit, from River Rock Vineyard, leads with aromas of tar, red currant and beetroot, bright and deeply flavored at once. Despite sumptuous fruit, its texture feels firm and chiseled, lithe with a dusty earthbound tension. Much going on, it’s some years from its peak. Cellar. 


Pášxa 2020 Walla Walla Valley River Rock Vineyard Grenache

Every week, our editors highlight a wine that intrigued them in our blind panel tastings, expanding on their tasting note in this space. These are entirely editorial choices; there are no paid placements. Subscribers can also access the original tasting note by searching here.

Patrick J. Comiskey covers US wines for Wine & Spirits magazine, focusing on the Pacific Northwest, California’s Central Coast and New York’s Finger Lakes.

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