Grenache (grenn – nosh) is a thick skinned red-wine grape that produces a medium-bodied red wine. It is grown in extremely hot environments resulting in wines with higher alcohol levels. Some Grenache wines can reach up to 15% ABV!
Dominant flavors you will find in Grenache wines can include Lemon, Lime, Tangerine, Yellow Apple, Asian Pear, Peach, Guava, Melon, Nectarine and Green Mango.
The varietal is believed to originate in Sardinia. Today, the top producing countries for Grenache wines include France, Spain, Italy, Algeria, United States and Australia with more of specific, well-known regions being Cotes du Rhone, Languedoc-Roussillon, Priorat, Vinos de Madrid, Sardinia, Paso Robles, Columbia Valley and South Australia.
Grenache is a very versatile grape varietal and for this reason, it is one of the most widely distributed grapes in the world. It can also produce three very different tasting Grenache-based wines.
Old-vine Grenache is grown in schist or stone, such as in Priorat and Chateauneuf-du-Pape. It can produce concentrated wines capable of aging over many decades.
Calatayud is a warmer region in Northern Spain where late-ripening Garnacha grapes get high sugar levels. The ripe grapes then ferment to alcohol levels above 15%, adding both body and spice to the wines.
American Grenache is both fruit-forward and aromatic with crisp acidity. Old World Grenache is herbal and the American version smells more like star anise and flowers. They produce wines that are high in alcohol.
The Southern Rhône is known for Grenache-based wines and is most commonly found alongside Syrah and Mourvedre (GSM). It the main grape in the Chateauneuf-du-Pape region. Grenache-based rosé is notable in Provence.
Grenache (Garnacha) is the second most planted red grape in Spain.
The best food to pair with this wine is Roasted Squab (pigeon), Star Anise, Pho, Dumplings, Duck, Spicy Meatballs. Beef, Cheesy Potatoes, Stew. This wine should be consumed in a red wine glass and has a shell life in up to five years. The average bottle can cost up to $15. However, this wine is produced in some of the most expensive regions in the world. The wine can be very expensive.
Other names for Grenache wines include, Grenache Noir, Garnacha Tinta, Garnatxa, Lladoner, Tinto Aragones, Cannonau, Alicante, Granaccia, Tocai Rosso.
Carpe Travel collaborated with Maia Parish to compile the grape varietal overviews. Maia Parish is an award-winning events producer, sommelier, wine judge, and media consultant. She lives in Denver, Colorado and likes to eat copious amounts of food. You can find her here www.linktr.ee/thewinemistress.