Grenache (Garnacha, Cannonau)
Grenache or Garnacha produces rich, flavorful red wines & ruby-tinted rose. While the French have shot this grape to fame with Chateauneuf-du-Pape, it's origins like in Spain. No wonder there's Spanish wines rebottled under French labels!
Tell-tale candied or grilled fruit & cinnamon flavors give Grenache away, with aromas of orange rinds. Herbal notes of oregano or tobacco are often present in old world regions like Rhone Valley, Sardinia or Spain.
Medium to full bodied, it's deceptively light in color & semi-transluscent. A high intensity wine that pairs well with roast meats, and grilled vegetables, especially with dishes that utilise cumin & Asian 5-spice.
Medium-full bodied, with medium tannins & acidity, it's usually a dry style that is often blend with the peppery Syrah & Mourvedre to create the famed GMS blend, of which French Rhone Valley & Australian wines are a big promoter of. It's also blended with Tempranillo in Spain.
GRENACHE, SYRAH & MOURVEDRE (GSM)
Common Regions: Rhone Valley (France), Australia, California (USA)
GSM wines are known for their bright fruit, extroverted aromas of ripe fruit, dried sage and herbs, and a grippy, pepper-and-herb finishes that echoes the wines' aroma. It excels in warmer climates such as in Spain, South Australia, South Africa, parts of the United States, and Southern France. Loved for complexity & age-worthy potential, it's a versatile food pairing wine, particularly with Mediterranean spices.
In France, look for Châteauneuf-du-Pape style wines from the Rhone Valley, where bottles can go for up to USD600 depending on the appellation!
SINGLE VARIETAL & TEMPRANILLO BLENDS
Common Regions: Spain, Sardinia (Italy), China
In Spain, Grenache is often blended with Tempranillo to take out the harshness of the leather earthy notes in Tempranillo, but 100% Grenache varietals can also be found. It's made in various regions, including Rioja, RIbera del Duero, & Priorat
In Italy, Grenache is known under the name Cannonau, where it's produced mostly in Sardinia
Suprisingly, China has close to 12,000 acres of Grenache!