Grenache or Grenache Noir (pronounced gren-aash) is also known as Garnacha in Spain, and as Cannonau in Corsica and Sardinia, Italy. You’ll find my Top 10 Grenache reviews and ratings here.
5 Surprising Facts about Grenache:
1. The best Grenache grapes come from old vines and low yields and they are generally blended with other varieties such as Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan, Tempranillo and Cinsaut.
It is usually in a blend, rather than a single varietal wines, because Grenache lacks tannin, colour, and acid. However, the exception to this is the Sardinian D.O.C. wine Cannonau di Sardegna, which is by law 99% local Grenache (Cannonau).
2. Grenache’s most famous home is in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, where it is typically comprises more than 80% of the 13-grape blend. It is the most widely planted grape in Spain. In Australia, Grenache is the “G” in “GSM” blends, with Syrah and Mourvedre being the other two.
3. Australian winemakers also use the higher alcohol content of Grenache to make fortified wine, as do French winemakers to make rosé and vin doux naturels, especially in the southern regions of Tavel and Banyuls.
Some of the New World wine regions now growing Grenache include Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Uruguay, and Mexico.
4. Grenache ripens late in the season, so it needs hot, dry stony hillside conditions such as those found in the south of France, particularly in the southern part of the Rhone Valley as well as in Rousillion.
Grenache thrives on the Italian islands of Sardinia and Corsica as well as throughout Spain. It is also found In Australia, and even the San Joaquin Valley in California.
5. Grenache displays aromas of ripe blackberries, raspberries and strawberries with a kick of spice on the end. It usually has a high alcohol content given it ripens in warm climates.
It has been compared to Italy’s Amarone, and can even sometimes offer similar notes of black olives, black cherries, coffee and gingerbread.
Great food pairing for Grenache include grilled entrées and BBQ dishes, or mushroom risotto. Researched by Lesley Quinn.
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