Grenache walks a fine line between noble-variety and work-a-day makeweight. Perhaps like Merlot, Grenache needs a little support from sympathetic friends to produce truly world-class wine, but surely this is no criticism?
Grenache (Garnacha in Spain) walks a fine line between noble-variety and work-a-day makeweight. When required it can be allowed to overcrop to produce reliable bulk wine of high alcohol and modest weight. However, if managed with suitable care and attention, from vineyard to bottle, Grenache can produce genuinely explosive red wine of depth, warmth and sophistication.
The world's great Grenache wines are centred on three areas of significance: The Southern Rhone (Cotes du Rhone, Gigondas, Chateauneuf and so on), South Australia (Barossa, McLaren Vale) and Northern Spain (Priorat). Perhaps like Merlot, Grenache needs a little support from sympathetic friends to produce truly world-class wine, but surely this is no criticism?
Brian Sullivan on Grenache: Whether it is Spain, France, California, Australia or anywhere else in the world for that matter, wherever grapes are grown and wine is made, chances are that ‘ubiquitous’ red grape varietal better known as ‘Grenache’ will be hanging on a wine growers vines. Grenache is a late ripening grape that requires warm weather and if grown in the right conditions will deliver a wine with excellent ripeness giving aromas of raspberry and dark cherries; while on the palate, there is ripe, jammy berry fruit. A versatile grape, it is used in blending and is one of the thirteen constituent varietals used Châteauneuf-du-Pape or in ‘top end’ Rioja’s. Equally roses’ made from Grenache or ‘Garanacha’ as it is referred to in Spain, are very satisfying with some wonderful examples, especially from the Iberian Peninsula, where styles range from quite light to more deeper watermelon tones , a style that can really be drunk all year round.