Grenache, or Garnacha as it's known and grown in Spain, is a red wine grape that dominates the Southern Rhone in the famous French wine blends of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. This widely planted and well-received sun-loving grape carries a thinner skin, resulting in lighter hues, and often lower levels of tannin and acidity, making it an ideal candidate for blending. Keep an eye out for Grenache from France, Spain, Australia and California bottled as a blend, single varietal or as a fresh-faced rosé.
The Flavors or Grenache
Expect bright berry aromas and flavors that lean heavily towards cherry, raspberry, and strawberry with peppery notes and herbal undertones. Grenache is typically made dry in style and often weighs in medium to full-bodied, with low to medium level tannins and acidity, depending on regional influences.
Pairing Food with Grenache
An outstanding wine for grilled or barbecued beef, bison, wild game or sausage, this hearty red wine will partner up especially well with roasted duck and lamb along with beef stews or Moroccan culinary themes.
Grenache in France
With almost 100,000 acres of vine in the Languedoc-Roussillon region and an additional 120,000 acres planted in the Rhone Valley, Grenache is a high profile player in the game of French wines. Thin-skinned, the Grenache grape itself typically lacks tannin and deeper color pigmentation, both derivatives of the grape's skin.
To bolster both color and structure, it is often blended with Mouvedre and the fruit-forward nature of Syrah. In the Southern Rhone, where it is a key contributor to the weighty wines of the Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Grenache flourishes in the warm, sunny climate where it can reach full maturity and ripeness levels.
Garnacha in Spain
Holding the title as Spain's most widely planted red wine grape, Garnacha maintains deep roots in the Spanish wine growing regions of Rioja, Priorat, and Navarra. Holding over 180,000 acres of vine in Spain, the aromatic Garnacha is often blended with Tempranillo giving it more tannic structure and additional flavor components.
Grenache/Garnacha Producers to Try
- France - Château de Beaucastel, Domaine de Bila Haut, Domaine Lafage, E. Guigal, M. Chapoutier
- Spain - Bodegas Ateca, Borsao, Breca, Campo Viejo, Celler Mas Doix, Espelt, Las Rocas, Lo Nuevo,Miguel Torres Salmos, Palacios Remondo
- US - Alban, Beckman, Bonny Doon, Stolpman, Sine Qua Non, Tablas Creek, Vina Robles
- Australia - Clarendon, d'Arenberg, Hewiston, Sons of Eden