So, I admit to being tighter than a scared ducks posterior. But you have got to love well-made wines at a great price. Weather it be Riesling, Semillon, or Grenache there’s plenty to love from some under-rated grapes.
Grenache, or Garnacha as it is referred to in its original home of Spain, is one of the most widely planted red grape varieties in the world. It requires very warm, and dry conditions to ripen. Generally you will find Grenache wines to range from medium to fuller bodied. They can show a lovely sweet spice character with red fruit/ berry flavours and complement a range of food without dominating.
Grenache is the leading variety in most Southern Rhône wines, especially in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Here in Australia, Grenache is often overshadowed by the powerhouse variety, Shiraz. It is not uncommon to find Grenache blended with other varieties, such as Shiraz and Mourvedre and it is in the South Australian warmer regions of Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale that Grenache is most consistently found to be of fantastic quality. It can also be used in some sensational rose’s or as a fortified wine. For an early history of Grenache in South Australia check out Philip White’s blog. Below are a couple of Grenache table wines which we enjoyed this International Grenache Day.
2010 Oliver’s Taranga Grenache
Sourced from McLaren Vale fruit from a great recent vintage, and part of a select few in the Cadenzia project to promote McLaren Vale Grenache. On the nose it shows gorgeous floral perfume characters and with a slight earthy/forest floor background. Red fruits and cherry characters are dominant with the typical sweet spices of cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper. On the palate it is medium bodied, with wild strawberry/cherry characters following through. The pleasant spicy character is mirrored again, adding to the complexity. The palate is soft and round with supportive tannins, but recommended drinking would be #GrenacheDay 2012!
Sample: Provided by producer
2006 Turkey Flat Grenache
Sourced from 100 year old Barossa bush vines in the Bethany subregion. While not their current release it’s good to be able to see an older style Grenache. Quite a funky, earthy character on the nose, with good intensity of dark cherries. Nice subtle roasted meats and a herbal quality in the background. On the palate very soft medium bodied, with raspberry and red fruit dominating. Subtle sweet spice and fennel seed, with good lingering finish. This would match rosemary studded roast lamb with a mint jelly. Could possibly cellar for another few years if you would like that earthy/funky character to develop more.
RRP $25 (current release price)
Sample: Personal cellar
Ratings: Robert Parker 90pts, Campbell Mathinson 91pts, James Halliday 91pts