12 Secrets of Grenache

Why Grenache has more names than a CIA agent


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It fell out of favor...

Grenache has made inroads into the New World wine region, but progress has been slow. Once highly prized for its ability to produce plenty of wine suitably high in alcohol, Grenache has fallen out of favor in many regions over the past decades in favor of more popular varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

In some regions -- particularly the dry, hot areas of California and Australia -- Grenache still plays an important, if less glamorous role. In California, it continues to make up a good portion of propriety wine; you know the types -- Hearty Burgundy, anyone?  

In Australia, on the other hand, it is still a popular grape (though it is no longer the county’s most commonly planted -- a distinction it enjoyed until the second half of the 20th century), which is used frequently in the production of Australia’s port-style dessert wines.

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Comments

  • Snooth User: solympiad
    251183 1

    Great Article! I always wondered about Granache and like the MSG blends from Australia. Know I know the very interesting history and facts.

    Thanks!

    Oct 25, 2010 at 4:50 PM


  • Snooth User: BendWine
    Hand of Snooth
    42983 21

    In 2007, Chris Ringland and Dan Philips collaborated to make eight different Grenache based wines from seven different Australian vineyards (one is a blend of most of the rest) under the Chateau Chateau label. The wines are all very different and very good (90 to 93 points from the Wine Advocate) and are all available through Snooth from Bend Wine Cellar.

    Oct 25, 2010 at 5:34 PM


  • Snooth User: jfey
    476567 7

    All true, but to be more precise at that time it was catalan kingdom, formed of current spanish catalonia and French Roussillon that then fusioned with Aragon and spread across the mediterranean sea enjoying a golden age at a time when the rest of Europe was in the dark ages.
    First country in Europe to allow women to vote, to have a council elected with representatives of the different social classes....

    Oct 25, 2010 at 5:39 PM


  • Snooth User: TRRiley
    553260 7

    I'm happy to see that I knew everything you mentioned except for the fact that it's the second most planted grape in the world. And learning that was irritating because you didn't say, "....after XXX." Do I have to head over to my shelf and look, or should I just guess? Chardonnay? Cabernet sauvignon? Ugni Blanc? Anyway, thanks for promoting my favorite grape. I'll take a good No. Spain or So. Rhone wine any day of the week. Love it!!

    Oct 25, 2010 at 5:43 PM


  • Snooth User: jfey
    476567 7

    #1 Airen white grape

    Oct 25, 2010 at 5:53 PM


  • Very interesting Article ,Thank you. My favorite grape.Me love it.

    Oct 25, 2010 at 6:14 PM


  • Snooth User: dmcker
    Hand of Snooth
    125836 7,141

    Another great job on picking and blending selectively interesting berries of information, Greg. Artwork was good, too.

    Though sometimes I wonder about your headlines: "Grenache is key to France’s greatest wines". I don't think too many Frenchfolk would agree with that statement, as-is. Not much grown in Bordeaux and Burgundy, or Champagne and the Loire, and Gigondas hardly qualifies as France's 'greatest'... ;-)

    Oct 25, 2010 at 6:21 PM


  • Agree on the GSM blends from Australia. Kilikanoon in the Clare Valley South Australia produce a straight Grenache at 15% alc and have tamed the tannins. I give it a big tick.

    Oct 25, 2010 at 7:57 PM


  • Would you please get away from writing articles that incorporate multiple clicking. Just write the article as a whole. I do not want or need it in mincing little bites.

    Oct 25, 2010 at 9:03 PM


  • Snooth User: sourgrape
    596094 5

    Love every one of your articles, thank you Gregory; I have always liked Chateauneuf-du-Pape and now Port wines from Australia, I guess they have something in common that appeals to my palate.
    Recently I visited the Swan Valley vineyards in WA and was pleasantly surprised by the quality and delicacy of their ports. (Also tried some of their vodka and it wasn't too bad either, in fact it was veeeery goooood)

    Oct 26, 2010 at 3:38 AM


  • Must agree with Imperial188 and ask that articles be presented as a single read - or at least, that we have the option to read in that way. The slideshow, bitty-bitty approach is very frustrating (and slightly condescending?) When it comes to wine, we on the Sediment blog do like to consume in a single sitting...

    Oct 26, 2010 at 4:31 AM


  • Snooth User: dmcker
    Hand of Snooth
    125836 7,141

    I'll toss in my vote, too, saying, as I've said at the bottom of several other slideshows, that slideshows are not a universal cure or solution, and are good for some things, but not for others. I also find the slowness, and itty-bitty-biteness of them, for something I'd prefer to consume as a whole, rather frustrating.

    Slide-shows are best used as sexy attention-getters on the home page, or otherwise when the images are the main part of the information flow. Not buried as what are meant to be informative backgrounders deep in the bowels of the articles sections....

    Oct 26, 2010 at 4:42 AM


  • Other than the fact that a slideshow cannot (as might be expected) faithfully represent the many qualities of Grenache, ...good article. Indeed, where are the days when this grape was lumped into the little French corner of Côtes du Rhone, where even kingly greats as Châteauneuf du Pâpe were, for some or other commercial reasons of their own, put in the dark shadows of Bordeaux or Burgundy wines. I believe that, in many respects, the wine amateur must say thanks to the flourishment of Spanish wine: indeed, Priorat and Montsant have brought Grenache back to the forefront, where it has its rightful place, being at the base of rich, tasty, generous Mediterranean style wines, as opposed to the highly structured, taut and tight Atlantic types of red wines. ¡Viva la Garnacha!

    Oct 26, 2010 at 5:05 AM


  • Gregory--I saw you at the panel discussion at the Grandi Marchi Italian tasting this past Monday in NYC but did not get a chance to say "hello" to. I enjoyed the discussion from all panelists.

    Just wanted you to know, I have been a subscriber of Snooth for the last year or so and find it one of the best sites from interesting wine information. Being a Wine Educator at Mercer County College (outside of Trenton, I received many e-mails from various wine sources but find using Snooth more often in preparation for my classes.

    Thanks for your valuable information./

    Bruce Smith
    Wine Educator

    Oct 27, 2010 at 10:45 AM


  • GRENACHE IS GROOVY!
    Hi Gregory-
    So happy that you wrote this piece on Grenache! Couldn't agree more and it's so good to see this fine grape finally recognised: many of us feel it's the Unsung Hero of the Grape World, responsible for that velvety, voluptuous mouthfeel that accounts for the"deliciousness" factor in many wines (which is why so many winemakers add it to their bends), but rarely getting the recognition it deserves! A group of us got together this summer to pool our respective knowledge and appreciation of this versatile grape. It was a mini-summit, with 270 wine professionals and enthusiasts from 23 countries: our mission was to come to grips with why Grenache was often unknown or underappreciated. Here's a short but very sweet video about the key concepts from event, which contains at the very end some useful grenachy facts, figures and suggestions: http://www.YouTube.com/grenachesymp... It was not a commercial venture but rather a sincere attempt to ask some probing questions, then come to the rescue of this noble grape and rally around it.

    Stylistically it's usually considered a "classy" grape by those who know it. Some people call it the Pinot of the South, but if Pinot is silk, Grenache is velvet. Part of the problem is that, like Pinot, in the vineyard it tends to reflect the soil and growing conditions more than many grapes, and change accordingly -- a bit like the actor Daniel Day Lewis, who's a very talented chameleon, vs Jack Nicholson or John Wayne, who usually bring a top performance but recognisable style to their role (think Syrah or Cabernet). This sometimes makes it hard for consumers to know what to expect before they open the bottle, but your clear expose' highlights some of the regions where it grows best, so those are safe bets if you don't know the merits of an individual producer.

    Anyone looking for additional info and articles can find links on the "Grenache in the News" section on the http://www.grenachesymposium.com website (we'll add a link to this slideshow). There's also a spreadsheet with a compilation of 200+ of the best Grenache wines from around the world selected for the huge tasting we hosted, the largest and most international to date. If you want to be in the loop for the next Grenache initiative please get in touch -- we love to hear from fellow Grenadiers du Grenache. Already, it was unbelievably exciting to see the incredible enthusiasm that built up in 30 countries around International Grenache Day in September-- hopefully we can all help Grenache assume its rightful place in the Olympus of grapes.

    With Grenachy Greetings and Gratitude, Nicole

    Nicole Rolet
    Principal, Chene Bleu Wines
    Director of Programs, Grenache Symposium 2010
    info@grenachesymposium.com

    Oct 31, 2010 at 8:54 PM


  • Snooth User: BG422
    343567 19

    Greg, I agree with dmcker's comment from a previous article. I am more than happy to just read through. I find clicking for each of several 100 (or less) word notes annoying, and although I like pictures, they often don't afford more info...they just make it prettier. And I don't think that's why I read Snooth -- even if everyone (including me) likes pretty.

    I like Grenache based wines from both France and Spain, and I've tasted some good ones from CA, but frankly, I didn't have the energy to click through the pictures on this article. I've saved it -- maybe next week.

    Oct 31, 2010 at 10:08 PM


  • Snooth User: erniex
    634476 60

    Why do so many of you refer to the GSM blend as if its an Australian invention? Its the backbone and inheritance of the Rhone valley, CDP in particular, and in my personal opinion so much better from there than from Australia...

    Nov 11, 2010 at 3:45 AM


  • Snooth User: gkerns
    736661 127

    There is a wine I found that I really like. It is Cannenau di Sardignia. I have found that Cannenau is the name of Granache when it is grown on the island of Sardignia. It has a hint of green olive taste that goes great with pizza, pasta, etc..

    May 07, 2012 at 5:26 PM


  • And what about Maury in roussillon region. One of the best place for Grenache, in sweet Vind Doux Naturels and now in AOP Maury sec in still wine. Same level quality as Priorat with affordable price.
    Go to see "Les vignerons de Maury" You will be surprise.

    May 16, 2012 at 5:58 AM


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