Happy International Grenache Day 2022

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Celebrate International Grenache Day 2022 with a look at the grape, its wines, and some recommendations from French wine importers in Australia.

International Grenache Day 2022

    1. Origins

A hotly contested topic: for some grenache originated in the South of France, for others Cannonau in Sardegna, and other still Garnacha or Garnatxa in the Aragon region of Spain.

 

  1. Grenache synonyms

International Grenache Day 2020

 

  1. A warm climate grape

Grenache thrives in warm climates and improves as the vines age. In France, it’s grown in the warm Mediterranean South and in Australia, South Australia’s Barossa Valley, and McLaren Vale have perfect climates to grow grenache.

 

  1. What does grenache taste like?

Grenache is known for its flavours of berry fruit such as raspberries and strawberries. However, flavours can depend on yield volumes. On the one hand, for tighter yields, the wines can take on complex and intense notes of blackcurrants, black cherries, black olives, coffee, gingerbread, honey, leather, black pepper, tar, spices, and roasted nuts. On the other hand, increased yields can see earthy herbaceous notes that fade quickly.

 

Rosés made from Grenache grapes are known for their strawberries and cream flavours.

 

  1. The world’s largest grenache plantings are found in France

They had 236,500 acres (95,700 ha) in 2004.

 

  1. 2nd most planted grape in France

It’s the second most planted grape variety after Merlot and before Ugni Blanc.

 

  1. Where is it grown in France and what wines does it produce?

The majority of plantings of Grenache in France are found in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. There, it is often blended with Carignan, Cinsaut, Syrah and Mourvèdre.

 

It is an important part of the classic Rhone blend. In the Côtes du Rhône, Grenache must comprise at least 50% of the blend along with Syrah (Shiraz) and Mourvèdre (which is like the GSM blend we are more accustomed to in Australia).

 

  1. Not just red wines – Rosé too

It’s not only used in red wine but also in some French rosé wine including those from Tavel and Lirac. As mentioned above, rosés made from Grenache are characterised by strawberries and cream flavours.

 

  1. Grenache as a parent

Grenache has parented several grape varietals:

  1. Cabernet Sauvignon together with Garnacha Tinta produced Marselan
  2. with Terrano, Grenache has produced Greco Nero
  3. with Muscadelle Du Bordelais Faux, Grenache produced Emerald Riesling in the USA, South Africa and Israel
  4. with Bouschet Petit, Grenache produced Alicante Henri Bouschet
  5. with Aramon Noir, Garnacha Tinta produced Gramon and also Monerac
  6. with Cot, Garnacha Tinta produced Caladoc,
  7. with Olmo F2-7, Garnacha Tinta produced Carneilan and also Centurion,
  8. with Jurancon Noir, Garnacha Tinta produced Chenanson and also Ganson
  9. with Portugieser Blau, Garnacha Tinta produced Portan

 

  1. Grenache Mutations

DNA studies have shown that a number of differently coloured grapes are in fact mutations of Grenache Noir. These are:

  1. Grenache Blanc – a white mutation of the grape and the 4th most planted white wine varietal in France
  2. Grenache Gris – a pink/grey mutation of grenache; and
  3. Lledoner Pelut – a downy leafed mutation of grenache sometimes known as Hairy Grenache.
Image from : domainejones.blogspot.com/2015/08/a-history-of-lledoner-pelut-in-tuchan.html
  1. Fortified and vin doux naturels

Bothg grenache gris and grenache blanc are used in fortified vin doux naturels from Banyuls and Maury in France.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR INTERNATIONAL GRENACHE DAY 2022

We asked local French wine importers to recommend wines for International Grenache Day 2022.

 

Pierre Stock Wine Selections

Pierre Stock recommends the 2019 Bastide Saint Dominique Chateauneuf du Pape Secrets De Pignan for International Grenache Day 2022.

 

journée internationale du grenacheWhy?

Here we are in the considered the best parcel in Chateauneuf du Pape, adjacent to the one from the very famous Chateau Rayas, particularity of this cuvee is 100% grenache, vinified in cement tank. No wood has been used here.

 

How does French grenache differ from Australian grenache?

Grenache in Australia was originally used for dessert wines then later been introduce as a blend grapes often with syrah.

French Grenache is often found in France in hot weather area and can be used as a single variety wine.

 

What would you pair with this grenache?

Roast meat, BBQ, something meaty and quiet strong In aromas.

 

Single Vineyard Sellers

Kimberly from Single Vineyard Sellers recommends three French wines for International Grenache Day 2022

 

The first is 2018 Cellier des Dauphins ‘Les Dauphins’ Rouge (Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah blend) 

International Grenache Day 2022

Why?

A decidedly southern style of wine with a bright garnet hue, a reflection of the sun-drenched terroirs from which it hails. It boasts a seductively smooth structure and notes of lightly caramelized ripe black fruits. The palate is silky smooth with notes of liquorice and vanilla, revealing a good length and melted tannins.

 

How does French Grenache differ from Australian Grenache?

Grenache has been claimed to originate in Spain, Italy and France, and while the exact place of origin can be contested, there’s no doubt that today it is France that the variety is most famously grown and houses 197,000 acres of the grape. In the region of Côtes du Rhône, where this wine was made, grenache makes up a majority of the region’s grapes. It is one of the most widely-planted varieties in the world and has made itself at home in South Australia. Due to the cooler climate of South Australia, specifically that of the Barossa Valley, the wines from this region are typically stronger in fruit and peppery spice characters than those produced in Rhône Valley and other warmer climate regions.

 

What would you pair this Grenache with?

Ideal as an aperitif, or paired with a seasonal pizza or cheese platter.

 

The second French Grenache Single Vineyard Sellers recommends for International Grenache Day 2022 is 2018 La Resistance Organic Côtes du Rhône Rouge (Syrah & Grenache)

 

Why?

This Grenache and Syrah blend comes from the heart of the southern Côtes du Rhône and was made with organic grapes that were carefully selected with the greatest respect for tradition and the environment. This wine is deep, intensive red in colour with a ripe fruit, spicy, and blackcurrant fragrance. The palate is elegant with soft tannins, good freshness, and aromatic.

 

What would you pair this Grenache with?

Perfect to be serves with a plate of assorted cooked meats, roast dishes, and cheese.

 

journée internationale du grenacheSingle Vineyard Sellers also recommends 2020 La Resistance Organic Côtes du Rhône Rosé (Grenache & Syrah)

 

 Why?

This Rosé was made with Grenache and Syrah from the heart of the southern Côtes du Rhône. The organic grapes from the Vignerons de l’Enclave terroirs were carefully selected with the greatest respect for tradition and the environment. The wine is a beautiful, light pink colour with delicate aromas of soft summer fruits. It is full flavoured, refreshing on the palate with a lingering finish of ripe raspberries.

 

What would you pair this Grenache with?

This wine is delicious as an aperitif, and is a perfect accompaniment to starters, salads and barbecues.

What’s your favourite Grenache? Happy International Grenache Day 2022!

 

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International Grenache Day

World Marselan Day 2022: 15 facts about Marselan

Reading Time: 3 minutes

To celebrate a World Marselan Day 2022, a celebration of a more obscure red wine varietal, we’ve put together a list of 15 facts about Marselan. We’ve also found a Marselan available for purchase in Australia, which we share with you.

World Marselan Day 2022

  1. Marselan is a blue-skinned, red wine grape.

 

  1. Origins of Marselan
    Marselan came about as a cross of cabernet sauvignon and grenache by scientist Professor Paul Truel in 1961. The grapes were chosen to marry the structure and elegance of cabernet sauvignon with the disease-resistance and high yields of Grenache.

 

  1. It worked! Marselan grapes are small but come on big bunches (which leads to higher yields), they are resistant to disease. Their size means there is a higher proportion of skins being used in wine-making. That leads to richer flavours, deeper colours and more tannic wines.

 

  1. Their later ripening means they need hot and sunny climates to mature. This also makes them an important part of the future of wine-making with climate change effects likely to make other varietals less suitable in the future.

 

  1. It wasn’t submitted for approval for commercial release and entry into the official register of grape varieties until 1990.

 

  1. The name Marselan comes from the local town, Marseillan, being the town in which the grape was born.

 

  1. Marselan wines
    The wines are deeply coloured and aromatic with supple tannins and the potential to age. Marselan wines can have aromas and flavours of mixed berries, plum and a touch of earthiness.

 

  1. Marselan in France
    In 2009, Marselan plantings made up 3,351 acres (1,356 hectares).

 

  1. The majority of Marselan plantings are Languedoc and southern Rhône Valley.

 

  1. Marselan in French wines
    In France, Marselan is mainly used in blends. In 2019, Marselan became one of four new red wine grapes authorised in the production of Bordeaux wines. Since last year, up to 10% of the blend in Bordeaux Superior and Bordeaux AOC wines can be Marselan.

 

  1. Languedoc however has produced some Marselan varietal wines – the first being in Carcassonne in 2002.

 

  1. Marselan in China
    In 2001, Marselan was introduced to China. Records from 2017 show 267 hectares of the grape, making Chinese plantings of Marselan the largest outside of its native France. These are largely found in south of Xinjiang, followed by Gansu, Ningxia and Huailai of Hebei. It’s even said that it may become China’s signature grape.
Image credit Chateau Zhongfei, Yanqi, Xinjiang
Image: Chateau Zhongfei, Yanqi, Xinjiang
  1. Marselan around the world
    Apart from its homeland of France and its new home in China, Marselan wines are also produced in Bulgaria, Croatia, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and in the United States (mainly California).

 

  1. World Marselan Day
    The wine is celebrated on the 27th April each year. World Marselan Day is the initiative of Jim Boyce at the Grape Wall of China. The date was chosen to honour the creator of the Marselan varietal, Paul Truel who was born on April 27, 1924.

 

  1. Get social
    Celebrate the varietal and the day by tagging @worldmarseland1 and using the #worldmarselanday on your photos. Also tag us @matildamarseillaise so we can see what you’re drinking and how you’re celebrating the day.

Marselan Day

WHAT TO DRINK FOR WORLD MARSELAN DAY 2022

None of our usual French wine importers have any Marselan wines in stock, so we’re unable to give you recommendations this year. We have however found the following French Marselan blend available for purchase in Australia:

 

Marselan Dan Murphy'sDan Murphy’s have a Granbeau Marselan IGP Pays d’Oc 2017 from the Languedoc-Roussillon region.

 

It is described as:

Dark, deep colour with a violet tint, the nose is intense, with blackcurrant, plum, spice, black pepper and slightly oaked and it tastes full, rich, well balanced and long. Enjoy with red meat, cheeses.

 

Happy World Marselan Day 2022? How will you celebrate the day?

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