Grenache (or Grenache Noir as it's often referred to in order to distinguish it from its cousin, Grenache Blanc) is a thick skinned red grape which most likely originated in Spain before spreading throughout vineyards of the Mediterranean. It is currently the most widely planted grape varietal of the southern Rhone Valley, and the second most planted grape in the world.
Frequently encountered as a blending component in the iconic wines of Chateauneuf du Pape, Grenache provides body without excessive tannins, deep color with high alcohol and flavors of red fruit, coffee, and leather.
Prone to overproduction if grown unchecked, Grenache was a common addition to branded blends of Central California since its introduction in the 1860s. Because of its prolificity, the overall quality of Grenache vines gradually went into decline as growers propagated cuttings from the most productive vines with less attention to the quality of the harvests.
Grenache loves a hot climate and spare, rocky soils. In the vineyard, viticultural practices toward reduced yields produce fruit with denser, more concentrated flavors with complexity worthy of single-varietal bottling.
In the 1990s, as many vineyards were pulling Grenache vines in favor of more popular Carenet and Merlot grapes,Tablas Creek Vineyard began importing high-quality Grenache cuttings from France. Since that time, as overall planted acreage across California has decreased, Grenache has experience a resurgence in popularity as talented winemakers reintroduce top notch varietal Grenache bottlings to the wine world.
Grenache grapes are commonly blended with Syrah and Mourvedre.
Grenache-based wines exhibit complex and intense notes of currants, black cherries, black olives and coffee. As a blending component, it delivers beautiful roundness and body, with low tannins and spiced notes.
PRODUCERS: UNITED STATES
Steel Plow Vineyard
Kick Ranch Vineyard
Justi Creek Vineyard