Grenache / Garnacha
Gorgeous Grenache produces soft, velvety, high alcohol red wines with sweet blackberry flavours and soft tannins. When it’s on its own it makes fruity soft wines, but these need drinking up quickly as they don’t mature well. That shouldn’t be a problem however; these wines are very easy to drink! Grenache needs hot conditions to ripen but is very drought tolerant, hence growing very well in Southern France and Spain.
Garnacha (the Spanish name for Grenache) is the most widely planted grape in Spain. It’s used to make fruity Rosés, which can be dry or sweet, and don’t have enormous price tags. It adds softness and alcohol to Rioja wines, and it makes easy drinking young wines called Vino Jouven wines.
Versatility in France
You’ll find Grenache all over the Rhône and Southern France where it is also used to make delicious, rich, fortified wines from Roussillon, Maury and Banyuls, and masses of fruity rosé. The most famous of these are also the most expensive, from Tavel in the Southern Rhone. If you are looking for something a little more wallet friendly then try Grenache Rosés from the Midi in Southern France.
Grenache is perhaps best when blended with more substantial grapes such as Syrah or Mourvedre. In France it’s an ingredient in some Northern Rhone blends, and is the main red grape in most Southern Rhône reds. When you are enjoying your Côte Du Rhône Villages, you are most probably drinking Grenache. To avoid paying Rhône prices, try the same blends from Australia or South America.
If what you have read takes your fancy, now’s the time to give it a try. Buy a bottle of Grenache now.
- There is a kind of Grenache grape called “Hairy Grenache”. It has thicker skins and hairy leaves. Although this sounds a bit weird, winemakers are looking at its potential for making fine wine, so look out for Hairy Grenache on the shelves in years to come.