Wine Wednesday: Grenache

Happy Wine Wednesday, everyone! It’s that time of week again for the next stop on our educational adventure through all things Rhône. This week's varietal of choice: Grenache!

From cult California to the famed Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Grenache is responsible for some of the most renowned, expensive, and delicious wines in the world.

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Grenache is believed to have originated in the Aragon region of northern Spain. Under Aragon rule, the grape spread to under Mediterranean lands under the Spanish name Garnacha. When the Roussillon region was annexed by France in 1695, the grape was already well established there. The vine then made its way to the Southern Rhône by the 19th century.

Worldwide, there are about 456,000 acres of Grenache planted worldwide, with major regions including France, Spain, Italy, the United States and Australia.

Grenache grows in tight clusters with thick skin, making it perfect in hot, dry climates. The grape prefers a long growing season, to ensure that the berry develops high sugar levels, therefore producing high alcohol wines.

Generally, Grenache is often fruit forward with strawberry, black cherry, raspberry, cinnamon, and other candied fruit notes. The color is generally lighter, with a medium body taste and higher alcohol content. When blended, Grenache adds sweet fruitiness and body to a wine.

The spice component in Grenache causes it to pair well with spiced and herb-heavy dishes such as roasted meats and vegetables.

Try it at the girl & the fig!

By the glass:

Mathis, 2015 Grenache, Sonoma Valley

"Flavors and aromas of dried black cherries and fresh blackberries lead on the

palate. The usual red fruit notes – raspberry, pomegranate, strawberry – are

present, but the dark fruits rule in 2015! Lively, fresh acidity is balanced with

sweet fruits and firm, well structured tannins."

By the bottle:

County Roadside, 2016 Sawyer Vineyard, Mendocino

"From 1,000 feet in elevation above Ukiah, CA comes the Sonoma Roadside Grenache.  Naturally medium-bodied with freshly crushed red cherry fruit joined by complexities of earth, menthol, and licorice. The palate is suave and sleek, with the exuberant fruit viscosity balanced by earth and silky tannins supplying structure to the textured fruit. The flavors follow through on the lengthy finish, with the red fruit profile turning dark and creamy.  A very approachable wine now lending the suggestion of a tasteful evolution." 

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