me='viewport'/> the Blog Wine Cellar - Investing in Wine: Grenache

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Origin: Spain
Other Names: Abundante, Aleante, Aleantedi Rivalto, Aleante Poggiarelli, Alicant Blau, Alicante, Alicante Grenache, Aragones, Bois Jaune, Cannonaddu, Cannonadu Nieddu, Cannonau, Cannonau Selvaggio, Canonazo, Carignane Rosso, Elegante, Francese, Garnaccho Negro, Garnacha Comun, Garnacha Negra, Garnacha Roja, Garnacha Tinta, Garnatxa Negra, Garnatxa Pais, Gironet, Granaccia, Granaxa, Grenache Noir, Grenache Rouge, Kek Grenache, Lladoner, Mencida, Navaro, Navarra, Navarre de la Dordogne, Navarro, Negru Calvese, Ranconnat, Red Grenache, Redondal, Retagliadu Nieddu, Rivesaltes, Rousillon Tinto, Roussillon, Rouvaillard, Sans Pareil, Santa Maria de Alcantara, Tentillo, Tintella, Tintilla, Tinto Menudo, Tinto Navalcarnero, Tocai Rosso, Toledana and Uva di Spagna.

Grenache is one of the most widely planted grape varieties in the world. It's a late ripening grape that need lots of sunshine and dry, hot conditions to mature properly. The wines it produces are usually light on the palate and have a spicy berry flavor. Grenache may have originated in Spain, probably in Aragon or Catalonia, but has since spread over the Pyrenees into southern France and the rest of the Mediterranean. It is the same grape variety as the Cannonau of Sardinia, where dried grapes, recently found in several locations, have been DNA tested and proved to be the oldest grapes in the world, dating back to 1200 BC. Like Pinot Noir Grenache is prone to mutation and has several clones and crosses such as Grenache Gris, Grenache Blanc, and many more.

Grenache is the dominant variety in most Southern Rhône wines, especially in Châteauneuf-du-Pape where it typically dominates over 80% of the blend. Grenache can make very different styles of wine in France, where it is planted on nearly 100,000 hectares in the Rhône valley and across the huge vineyards of Languedoc-Roussillon. It forms the basis of the red wines of Gigondas and the famous rose wines from the Tavel district of the Côtes du Rhône.

In Spain Garnacha is used to produce wines in southern Aragón, particularly in the Cariñena, Calatayud and Campo de Borja appellations. It is also used in the Catalan wine producing region of Priorat where it is traditionally blended with the dominant Carignan. Although Tempranillo has quickly replaced Grenache as the most planted grape in Spain, efforts have been refocused of late on the variety and producing single varietal wines.

The variety is also grown in many of the new world wine regions such as California and Australia. In Australia it is typically blended in "GSM" blends with Syrah and Mourvèdre, while in the USA it is used more for single varietal wines and in copy-cat Châteauneufs.

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