Garnacha is the New Black

In a way, a wine cellar is kind of like a wardrobe. You have your sparkly Champagne for special occasions, your comfortable Cabernet for when you need something familiar and reliable, and that dusty old bottle in the back that no longer fits your taste but you just can’t bring yourself to throw away. You might favor one color over all others, or perhaps you have a balanced mix. Maybe you have a favorite brand, or a particular appreciation for fine Italian craftsmanship. Whatever your wardrobe or cellar preferences, it is important to have a few versatile pieces that can work for any occasion.

Garnacha, a grape variety native to Spain and known as Grenache in France and elsewhere, may be just the thing you need to round out your wine rack—but don’t call it basic. Garnacha can be found in red, white and rosé varieties, and can range from dry but fruity table wines to jammy, sweet dessert wines that bear a close resemblance to Port. In its typical red form, Garnacha is usually medium-bodied, with soft tannins, moderate acidity, and flavors of bright, ripe red fruit like strawberry, cherry, and raspberry. These wines are approachable, crowd-pleasing, and great for pairing with a wide variety of foods. The rosés are fruity and approachable, and the white wines made from the Garnacha Blanca mutation can be light and crisp or supple and full-bodied, with refreshing acidity and a mix of floral and citric aromas. With so many styles to choose from, it’s easy to see how Garnacha’s versatility can tie any wine cellar together.

If you’re new to Garnacha and not sure where to start, we’ve appointed ourselves your personal shoppers and selected a few of our favorites:

Reds:

Beso de Vino Garnacha  
Peppery and perfumed, with red and black berry notes and a hint of licorice.

Bodegas Paniza Vinas Viejas
Concentrated and intense, with accents of baking spice and dried herbs highlighting deep berry flavors.

Bodegas Santo Cristo Seleccion Garnacha
Bright and juicy. The purity of the Garnacha grape shines through without the influence of oak.

Las Rocas Garnacha Vinas Viejas
Old vine complexity, with flavors of dark red fruits and hints of smoke and herbs.

Lechuza Garnacha
Supple blueberry, blackberry, and strawberry flavors complimented by violet aromas and a rich, dense mouthfeel.

Bodegas Y Vinedos del Jalon Las Pizarras
Floral, perfumed, and spicy: a more complex example of Garnacha’s capabilities. This is full-bodied, with a firm tannic structure.

Castillo de Monseran Garnacha
Soft, plummy, and herbal — a light and easy every-day drinker.

Whites:

LaFou Els Amelers
Complex and savory, with notes of citrus, white flowers, flint, and almond.

Clos Dalian Garnacha Blanca
Plush, silky texture with ripe white fruit and crisp minerality.

Vinas del Vero La Miranda de Secastilla Garnacha Blanca
Soft, aromatic, and tropical, with a subtle hint of toasty oak.