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

International Grenache Day 2021: Discover 11 things you didn’t know about Grenache to celebrate

Reading Time: 8 minutes

To celebrate International Grenache Day 2021, we’re sharing 11 things you might not know about grenache as well as some recommendations from French wine importers in Australia.

International Grenache Day 2021/la journée mondiale du grenache 2021

  1. Grenache’s exact place of origin is hotly contested. Some say it originated in the South of France, others say as Cannonau in Sardegna. and other still as Garnacha or Garnatxa in Spain in the Aragon region.
  2. France has the world’s largest grenache plantings with 236,500 acres (95,700 ha) in 2004.
  3. In France, grenache is the second most planted grape variety after Merlot and ahead of Ugni blanc.
  4. The majority of French Grenache plantings are found in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. There, it is often blended with Carignan, Cinsaut, Syrah and Mourvèdre.
  5. Grenache 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).
  6. It’s not only used in red wine but also in some French rosé wine including those from Tavel and Lirac.
  7. Grenache noir is the black-skinned grenache grape we often think about but it has mutations: pale crimson-skinned grenache gris and green-skinned grenache blanc which are both used in fortified vin doux naturels from Banyuls and Maury.

    International Grenache Day 2021/ La journée mondiale du grenache 2021
    Grenache Gris image: Languedoc-Rousillon-Wines.com
  8. In France, grenache blanc is the 4th most grown white wine grape variety after ugni blanc, chardonnay and Semillon.
  9. Grenache thrives in warm climates and improves as the vines age. That makes South Australia’s McLaren Vale and Barossa Valley perfect climates to grow grenache.
  10. Grenache takes longer to ripen than Cabernet Sauvignon and it is often harvested weeks after its red counterpart.
  11. Grenache is also known by a number of different names

International Grenache Day 2021

International Grenache Day 2021 recommendations

We asked French wine importers in Australia to share with us their Grenache recommendations for International Grenache Day.

 

Airoldi Fine Wines

Daniel Airoldi from Airoldi Fine Wines shares his recommendations for International Grenache Day 2021.

SPECIAL OFFER: Receive a discount of 20% of all orders at Airoldi Fine Wines when you use the ode “Marseillaise” at checkout.

 

Which grenache do you recommend for a smaller budget for International Grenache Day 2021 and why?

Le Cassagne & Vitailles Combarels 2018 which is made from a blend of old Grenache with a little bit of Syrah. It’s a delicious, fruity and well-balanced wine.

 

What would you serve with it?

Lamb chops with ratatouille.

 

Which grenache do you recommend for a higher budget for International Grenache Day 2021 and why?

From the same estate but the superior cuvée, Le Cassagne & Vitailles ‘Clas Mani’ which contains Grenache planted during the inter-war period! An impressively complex wine!

 

What would you serve with it?

Sweetbreads with hazelnut butter and sage gnocchi

 

Bottli

Amélie Chaboud and Nathalie Taquet from Bottli give us their recommendations for International Grenache Day 2021.

 

In France, grenache is mainly cultivated in the Rhône valley, Languedoc-Roussillon and in Provence. It is the source of great natural sweet wines and can be vinified alone or as the dominant varietal. In the latter case, it is often combined with Mourvèdre and Syrah for the production of dry red or rosé wines.

 

In the Southern Rhône valley, grenache dominates the Côtes-du-Rhône, Côtes-du-Rhône Villages and the vintages, Châteauneuf-du-Pape being one of the most-known appellations and perhaps the most qualitative.

 

The two rare pearls we have selected come from this region and are the result of organic farming, respectful of the environment!

 

Small budget grenache: GSM | Horse Flowers | Côtes du Rhône $50

This is a subtle Côtes du Rhône with a fruity character, intense aromas and a good length in the mouth. It is of course a blend built around Grenache (50% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre, 10% Cinsault). A very nice representation of its terroir: a wine that is simply “wow”!

Appearance: deep purple colour

Nose: aromas of violet and liquorice

Palate: notes of red fruits and spices, powerful and velvety

Appearance: Deep red colour

 

Big budget Grenache: Château de Manissy, Chateauneuf du Pape $126

It is a tiger ready to pounce: soft and elegant to look at, its power is almost palpable, but it walks on velvet paws. Then an explosion of black fruits: blackcurrant, blackberry, black cherry and hints of roasting, fully expressed in a beautiful and long finish. A truly great natural wine!

 

Appearance: Deep red colour.

Nose: Aromas of red fruits, aromas of undergrowth.

Palate: Spicy notes, soft tannins.

Food pairing: Red meat in sauce, Game, Beef bourguignon, Cheese

 

France Soir Wine Selections

Pierre Stock gives us his recommendations for International Grenache Day 2021.

 

Which lower budget Grenache do you recommend for World Grenache Day and why?

2019 Domaine Des Genestas Caves d’Estezargues , it is mostly Grenache blended with a tiny bit of cinsault and mourvedre. Made by a CO-OP but each family  treated as a domaine, organic , no fining, Impossible value for Quality.

 

What to serve with it? It is medium body style of wine with fresh fruits and soft tannins, Charcuterie, steak with no sauce , light red meat

 

Which higher-budget grenache do you recommend for International Grenache Day 2021?

2017 Bastide Saint Dominique Chateauneuf Du Pape, when it comes to Grenache , Chateauneuf Du pape is the most well known region in France where grows this amazing grape. This a wine coming from a super well known parcel called Pignan where the famous Chateau Rayas has its vines. This 100% Grenache matured in cement , yes NO WOOD in this cuvee, showed grenache to its best. Drink young , it is organic ,fresh yet with a medium body

 

What would you serve with it? Again here, I will serve it with red meat , saucy dishes , grilled veggies.

 

Le Plonque

Margot from Le Plonque shares her International Grenache Day 2021 recommendations.

 

Which low budget grenache do you recommend for International Grenache Day 2021 and why?

Domaine Saint Bénezet Préférence rosé! A refreshing Syrah Grenache which is perfect for the beautiful days to come!

 

What would you serve with it? A cheese and charcuterie platter with fresh fruit in a picnic, or grilled meat and a mixed salad!

 

Which larger budget grenache do you recommend for International Grenache Day 2021 and why?

We have a red grenache wine, which is a little more expensive, Domaine des Trois Lys les Garrigues. It’s a Syrah, Grenache Carignan blend. We love this Côtes du Rhone which has body, intense ripe fruit aromas and silky tannins that make it very easy to drink, even when it’s a bit hot! It is not bitter or harsh as some reds can be.

 

What would you serve with it?

Red meats will go very well with it, as will soft cow’s milk cheeses.

 

Single Vineyards

Annie Gasparre from Single Vineyards shares her recommendations for International Grenache Day 2021.

Which grenache for a smaller budget would you recommend for International Grenache Day and why?

The 2016 Campos de Luz – Made from old-vine grenache (garnacha) fruit, from the Cariñena Denominación de Origen. The nose is floral with notes of fresh berries and ground black pepper. The palate begins with a rush of juicy fruit, followed by a full palate with very soft tannins. A wine which is very easy to drink alone or with food.

What would you serve with it?

Tapas, sizzle steak or BBQ meats.

 

Which grenache for a higher budget would you recommend for International Grenache Day and why?

The La Resistance Organic Rouge – The red is a classic GSM blend using the advantages of the Mistral wind in the Rhone Valley that helps to reduce risk of mildew – which is why they can rely on producing organic wine across such a large area. Produced in parcels across the southern Rhone valley (actually around Avignon to Mont Ventoux), where Grenache is the king of grapes (rather than Syrah in the north).

 

All wines are fermented in small stainless steel tanks. Soil type is chalky-clay-alluvial (Rhone river and Aygues river sedimentary). This is a distinct advantage for Grenache because the additional water retention of the vine roots in clay soil avoids severe drought – but allows enough hydric stress for sugar levels to optimise. The winery has found that this extra water retention and subsequent balancing of sugars/alcohol levels enables La Resistance to carry some welcome acidity in the wine.

 

The result is a wine that has all the blackberry spice of the blend as expected but equally a freshness in the palate. To put it tangibly, this is a much more quaffable wine because of the freshness, rather than with heavily extracted dark fruit. No oak at all.

 

What would you serve with it? Perfect served with a plate of assorted cooked meats, roast dishes and cheese.

What’s your favourite Grenache wine? As a single varietal or in a blend?

 

If you like French wine, you may also like to read our other articles about French wine varietals:

Cabernet Sauvignon Day 2021: 15 things you didn’t know about Cabernet Sauvignon

International Syrah Day: discover the wine and some recommendations

Cheers to International Pinot Noir Day 2021!

International Viognier Day: an Australian celebration for a French varietal

International Chardonnay Day 2021: the grape, the wines and which ones to drink

International Riesling Day: everything you need to know about riesling and which to drink

Carménère Day: the story of a grape thought extinct

Marselan: A French grape you’re more likely to find in China than in France

International Rosé Day 2021: 11 things you may not know about rosé

20 Champagne facts to celebrate Champagne Day this week

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