International Grenache Day!
Thursday September 20, 2018
This is a story about wine grape that is often overlooked as compared to its counterparts. A variety that if often but not mixed with other varieties to create that one flawless drink. A grape that has a tad lonely, but albeit, wonderful history. And hopefully, a brighter future.
Grenache, or also called as Garnacha, is one of the Old World wines that originated in Spain. As mentioned, this grape has been given any true sense of praise of placed on a pedestal as a stand-alone wine when it should be raised in front of an audience (like what Rafiki did to baby Simba) in the first place.
Well, the blame should not focus on current wine drinkers as the stigma of how it was perceived still is prevalent today. Traditionally (and based on history), Grenache has been viewed as a workhorse due to the fact one can work around so many wine blends using this grape.
Technically it’s not all bad, if you take into account how diverse the end-result is when you use Grenache. In fact, it is because of the very characteristics of this grape that made it so favourable to be used in mixing with other varieties. So what are its features that make it irresistible to many winemakers? For one, it has thin skin compared to most red grapes. Why is this important? Thinner-skinned grapes often have low levels of acidity and also tannins. And if grapes have these traits, it is then ideal to be used as blending grape. Second, Grenache has a very fruit-driven aroma. Think of it as jam-packed with all the fruity goodness. Also, it is good to note that its rich and assorted base flavours contribute in bringing the pleasant underlying taste of other grapes. Lastly, this quintessentially southern European wine, produces this warm and powerful taste best expressed in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Here is a quite interesting rumour about the wine. According to some, located somewhere in China is a whooping12,000 acres of Grenache vineyards. To give you an idea, it’s close to half of the size of Disney World.
If this is true, then there is a glimmer of hope that will finally has its own spotlight!
It might be closer than some would think. David LeMire, a certified Master of Wine, has a lot to say about this lovely wine grape. According to LeMire, Grenache’s quality – acidity, lightness, and aroma – contributes to its well-complementing capacity.
In one of his interviews, LeMire explains, “Grenache is terrific in blends, but when you get these vineyards that are 40, 50, 80 years old, sometimes they should be showcased on their own”.
If you think about it, this should be the case. A grape that gets the supporting role for the usual Shiraz and like should step out of the shadows and show its true potential. One angle is that it is known as a ‘warm climate Pinot’. And as LeMire says, “I think that it really fits the way that people are looking to drink red wine these days. You can chill it a bit so it is a great drink in summer and it is all just centred on being drinkable. It’s not a kind of sitting-around-sipping-it sort of red – it is a wine that just disappears because it is good fun and easy to drink”.
It’s Grenache Day Everyone!
In welcoming this wonderful wine into our cellars (and calendars), the Grenache Association has established a day to celebrate it every September. Luckily, the festivity falls this Friday already. Oh, golly!
To help you jumpstart the celebration, here are some of our best Grenache for your drinking pleasures.
“Medium deep garnet-purple in color, the 2010 Les Amis displays gorgeous kirsch and raspberry compote notes accented by potpourri and roses, baking spices, cloves and some meatiness with pepper. Ripe and rich, medium-firm, silky tannins frame a concentrated and layered palate through a long and refreshing finish. Seductive in its youth, it should drink best from 2014 to 2024+.”
“Medium garnet in color with a hint of purple, the 2012 Les Amis (100% Grenache) seduces on the nose with a perfume of kirsch, raspberry coulis, lavender and rose petals plus suggestions of tangerine skins, cloves and Szechuan pepper. The full-bodied, Rubenesque palate does not fail to deliver this wine's signature opulence with tons of red berry preserves and exotic spice flavors supported by very fine tannins, balanced freshness and a long finish. Love it.”
“The 2016 RP2 shows a particularly complex nose of liquored cherries, assorted spices, liquorice and rich berry fruits. With time in the glass, this wine begins to unveil its true potential, becoming more and more expressive. On the palate this wine is fresh and lively, showing a wide fruit spectrum of both red and dark fruits. It has beautifully balanced grainy tannins to match the intensity of flavour. The RP2 is of medium body and exhibits excellent length and persistence. Although this wine is ready to go, expect some improvement in the cellar.”
We have more of this lovely wine at our Buy Now store.
Oh, and if you did not get the reference earlier, it’s from Lion King.