Category Archives: Grenache

Grenache
(greh-NAASH)

This sun-worshiping grape gets ripe and loves hot, dry weather. Popular in Spain (called Garnacha), Australia and the southern Rhone region of France, Grenache is the primary grape in regions such as Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Tavel, and Priorat. It’s often tamed by less fleshy, more structured grapes like Syrah, Mourvedre or Tempranillo – Grenache is the “G” in GSM blends of Australia. Also, because of its thin skins and high ripeness level, Grenache is ideal for producing delicious yet dry rose wines.

Notable Facts
High sugars give this grape character and ensure a full-bodied wine, but lower levels of acid and tannin enhance its candidacy as a blender. Intensive pruning on older vines gives Grenache enough structure to maintain its balance as a sole varietal, which is popular – and successful – in California, Australia and sometimes Spain, but many vintners rely on blending to keep this alcohol-happy grape in check. Typical flavors of Grenache are jam, spice, dried fruit, earthiness and some pepper, depending on where it’s grown. Old vine Grenache makes an intense and distinct dry wine, and in regions like Banyuls, a delicious, fortified dessert wine.

Successful Wine Region:
Southern Rhone, Southwest Spain, Australia, California

Common Descriptors:
jammy, alcoholic, spice, black currant, dried red and black fruits, pepper, earth, fleshy

Garnacha! An education

041 EL CIERZOGarnacha, also known as Grenache, is one of the world’s oldest and most widely planted wine grapes. Due to its long growing season and affinity for heat, it is the perfect Mediterranean grape. It has proliferated from its ancient homeland in Aragon to as far as Lebanon in the East, most of North Africa and throughout most of the new world. It’s luscious, fruity, intense and very diverse. Although most Garnacha is used to create blends – think Chateauneuf-du-Pape – it is starting to come into its own as a varietal wine, ready to take the worldstage with Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Continue reading Garnacha! An education