Grenache taste and aromas

Jammy flavours of raspberry, strawberries and cherries, with added nuances of fresh herbs, spice, peppers with gamey and earthy notes.

Grenache mouthfeel

Soft tannins, medium body, high alcohol

Grenache cellaring potential

When grown in harsh conditions or from old vines, Grenache can display complex and rich characteristics. Tense wines an age for longer as they have a finer structure that with age softens the tannins. Young Grenache wines can be firm and sometimes rough textured with sharp tannins.

Facts about Grenache

  • While Shiraz is Australia’s most famous grape, it is Grenache that started the Australian red winemaking ball rolling. Introduced in 1832 by wine-making pioneer, James Busby,
  • Grenache has many drought-tolerant qualities that contributed to its success in Australia. Namely, its ability to produce high yields when given plenty of irrigation in warm climates
  • A recent revival, mainly due to new Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvedre (GSM) blends, has placed Grenache firmly back on our palates.
  • Grenache was the basis of Australian port wines, as well as a component of many dry red wines, then called claret. But only rarely did the word Grenache appear on a wine label.

Australian regions that produce Grenache

Grenache is widely planted in South Australia, particularly in the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale wine regions. It is a versatile variety which can be used as a straight varietal wine, it makes very good rose and is used as blending material, particularly with Shiraz and Mourvedre. In fact the so called GSM blends are becoming a signature Barossa/McLaren Vale style, challenging the dominance of straight Shiraz.

In France this variety is grown in the Southern Rhone region as well as in Languedoc-Roussillon. In the Rhone it is a key ingredient of the famous Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines. In fact Grenache is a principal variety in all of the major Appellations in the Southern Rhone. Grenache is also the major variety in Tavel Rose. It plays no part in the Northern Rhone where the only red grape variety is Shiraz (Sirah).

What food to pair with Grenache

Grenache’s balance between full flavours and slight fruity sweetness complements an array of cuisine, including those hard-to-match foods such as spicy Indian, Thai and Chinese. Grenache’s firm, well flavoured characteristics pair well with barbeques, and red meats such as roast beef or lamb.

If drinking a rose Grenache, something a little simpler would pair well such as olives, goats cheese and tapenade, or smoked almonds.

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