I have decided that this autumn will be the "Autumn of Grenache" as I seem to have a thing for this grape right now. Grenache can make some very nice wines. Not especially powerful wines, but nice wines. Nice calm wines.
Wines that I would buy for my parents... which is what I did when I was home recently.
Yo. What it is.
It's a grape and is thin skinned. I mention the thin skin aspect because the skins of the grape are where all the wine's character comes from: flavors, color, and tannins. Have we discussed tannins? I don't think we have. Next time? Great!
The grape doesn't mind heat and is prized in some places because it can produce high amounts of sugar (which means high amounts of alcohol). Of course, if the sugar is too high and the acidity is low, it can come off as flabby.
As far as taste, Grenache, at least in my mouth, is a glass of soft red fruit - strawberries especially as well as hints of black fruit, tea leaves, and spice.
You'll find it..
It can be a bit tough to find a Grenache-only bottle of wine - it is more commonly part of a blend. That's not a bad thing as blending it can help solve any of the grape's shortcomings.
In the southern Rhone, it is often found as the primary grape in a blend. Chateauneuf du Pape is a good example.
Many roses' in the south of France are made from Grenache - such as the fine examples from Tavel.
Spain, where it is known as Garnacha, you'll find it in wines from Navarra and the awesome Priorat. While in Australia there are some old vine examples as well as the common Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre blend.
Next time you are wine shopping, look for something Grenache based.
Let me know how you like it. If you don't like it, I will come to your house and take the bottle away for you and finish it.
See, I'm not alone
That guy over at Wine Spectator apparently has a thing for Grenache as well...
Great Grenache is Hard to Find I love the character of Grenache. It can have the subtle floral and strawberry character of Burgundy but it shows the richness and power of Hermitage. It’s this contrast of elegance and decadence that turns me on with the grape.