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 Pinot Noir Day 2022: discover 15 facts and which wines to drink

Reading Time: 7 minutes

To celebrate International Pinot Noir Day 2022, we share some facts with you about the grapes and the wine as well as some recommendations from French wine importers in Australia.

International Pinot Noir Day 2022

  1. What is Pinot Noir?
    Pinot Noir is a thin-skinned, dark blue-purple coloured grape. The grapes are round or oval and grow in clusters shaped like pine cones

 

  1. It’s old!
    Pinot Noir is one of the oldest known vine grape varieties. It has been cultivated in Burgundy since the 1st century AD making it at least 1000 years older than Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

  1. What does Pinot Noir mean?
    Noir means black and the word Pinot comes from French word Pineau, which is a diminutive of the word “pin” meaning pine. It is named Pinot Noir because the grape clusters look like black pine cones.

 

  1. Any other names?
    Pinot Noir is also known as Blauburgunder, Blauer Arbst, Blauer Spätburgunder, Burgunder, Cortaillod, Morillon, Morillon Noir, Mourillon, Savagnin Noir or Salvagnin Noir.

 

  1. If you’re drinking a Red Burgundy, you’re drinking a Pinot Noir
    Red Burgundy wine is made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes grown in the Burgundy region.

 

  1. Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc are the same grape
    Wine writers Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding, and José Vouillamoz who co-wrote the book Wine Grapes have found that Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc are the same grape as Pinot Noir. DNA analysis has shown that they are identical and are colour mutations of Pinot Noir.

 

  1. Some of the healthiest wines
    Pinot Noir has the highest levels of resveratrol in wine. Resveratrol is a naturally occurring chemical, in this case a type of natural phenol, and a phytoalexin. It is said to have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
    Of course, the amount of resveratrol would vary from wineries, years, crops, through different fermentation processes, to name a few factors.

  1. Not only single variety wines
    The pinot noir grape doesn’t only make pinot noir wine. Apart from pinot noir itself, Pinot Noir grapes are also used in the production of:• champagne (normally blended with Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier but also the primary grape in the Blanc de Noirs (white from reds) style of champagne);
    • rosé wine;
    • Beaujolais Nouveau style wines; and even
    • grey white wines (du vins blancs gris).

 

  1. What are Pinot Noir wines like?
    Of course, this depends on the region and the wine-maker but typical flavours associated with Pinot Noir include red fruits such as cherries, raspberries, and strawberries.Pinot Noir wines tend to have lower tannins than other red wine varietals.

 

  1. Pinot noir in France
    Pinot noir’s home is France’s Burgundy region, particularly in Côte-d’Or. It is also found in the Champagne region as it is one of the key grapes allowed in the production of champagne.Pinot Noir is the only red varietal allowed in Alsace. It has been grown there since the Middle Ages.

    It is also cultivated in the Loire, the Jura and more recently in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. There most of it goes into the wines under the Pay d’Oc appellation.

    France has 75,760 acres of the 290,000 acres of pinot noir cultivated worldwide.

 

  1. Pinot Noir in the world
    It is also planted in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, northern parts of Croatia, Czech Republic, the Republic of Georgia, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Hungary, Kosovo, the Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, New Zealand, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Switzerland, Ukraine, United States and Uruguay.The United States has the second highest amount of pinot noir cultivations, with 73,600 acres.

 

  1. Pinot Noir in Australia
    Australia has 8,693 acres of Pinot Noir vines. It is is grown in several wine-growing areas, such as in:
    • the Southern Highlands in New South Wales,
    • the Yarra Valley, Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula, Beechworth, South Gippsland, Sunbury, Macedon Ranges and Mornington Peninsula in Victoria,
    • Adelaide Hills in South Australia,
    • Great Southern Wine Region in Western Australia,
    • all over Tasmania, and
    • the Canberra District in the Australian Capital Territory.

 

  1. Family
    It is unknown how Pinot Noir came to be but this grape that is about 1000 years old has had many children and grandchildren! Chardonnay for example, is a child of Pinot Noir, which resulted from a natural crossing with Gouais Blanc.

 

  1. International Pinot Noir Day 2022
    It’s observed annually on 18th August. Share your pinot noir on social media with the following hashtags #internationalpinotnnoirday #nationalpinotnnoirday #pinotnoirday Feel free to also tag us @matildamarseillaise_en on Instagram or @matildamarseillaise on Facebook so we can see what you’re drinking.

 

  1. A quote about Pinot Noir
    “Chardonnay is a red wine disguised in white;
    Pinot noir is a white wine disguised in red,”
    (André Tchelistcheff)

International Pinot Noir Day
 

FRENCH PINOT NOIR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR INTERNATIONAL PINOT NOIR DAY 2022

 

Clos Cachet

Ashleigh Huggins from Clos Cachet recommends Rougeot-Dupin Givry Village 2019 for International Pinot Noir Day

Why?

International Pinot Noir Day 2022This wine is crafted by the talented Marc and Pierre-Henri Rougeot of Domaine Rougeot, a Domaine that has a long history of making superb white and red wines out of the famed village of Meursault. The Rougeot-Dupin label is a négoce venture they started in 1990 in order to diversify the family range by purchasing grapes from under the radar Burgundy appellations. Givry is an appellation centrally located in the Cote Chalonnaise, covering the three villages of Dracy-le-Fort, Givry and Jambles, and is rumoured that red Givry was the favourite wine of Henri IV.

 

Givry Village provides a delicate nose with floral, springtime scents. It is pleasing and balanced on the palate, respecting the softness of the aromas perceived on the nose. Combining freshness with fruitiness for a sensation of delicateness and finesse.

 

How do French Pinots Noirs differ from Australian Pinots Noirs?

As the birthplace of Pinot Noir, Burgundy producers have had centuries to finesse and formulate the top light bodied reds across the world. Championed as a single varietal wine in both Burgundy and Australia there are numerous similarities between them, with the cooler regions of Australia such as the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria and across Tasmania bringing forth pinot noirs of stunning bouquets. The most noticeable differences are the more prominent earthy aromas alongside the fruity notes in French Pinot Noirs, this also allows the ageing capacity to increase with the developing bouquet that is unique to each terroir. Australian wines in general tend to have a smoother finish with less tannins, and while Pinot Noir overall has minimal tannic qualities there is almost none in Australian Pinots, and their fruit elements push forward a touch more.

 

What would you pair this Pinot Noir with?

 Simple dishes such as red meats, roasted or grilled white meats, savoury tarts and pies, mild cheeses.

 

Single Vineyards

Kimberly from Single Vineyards recommends the 2017 Domain des Terres de Velle Bourgogne Côte d’Or Pinot Noir for International Pinot Noir Day 2022.

 

International Pinot Noir Day 2022Why?

This Bourgogne Pinot Noir is made from two very different but complementary vineyards. Firstly, the Champ l’Huillier in Corpeau, in the plains just below Puligny-Montrachet, with a fair amount of topsoil and a lot of clay, gives the Pinot Noir its fruity character. Secondly, the Montpoulains, a plot of the plains of Volnay, with 45-year old vines, gives the wine excellent character and structure.

 

This stunning vintage associates true fruit freshness with delicate tannins. The nose offers aromas of fresh red berries, and the mouth is structures, expressive and asks to be drunk!

 

What would you pair this Pinot Noir with?

This Pinot Noir is perfect with a rich sausage or beef cooked in red wine sauce.

 

How do French Pinots Noirs differ from Australian Pinots Noirs?

This grape originated in Burgundy, France and is the leading producer of pinot noir in the world. The grape thrives in cooler climates, such as Burgundy, but also Victoria, South Australia, and New Zealand. The cool climate, along with the hallowed soils of Burgundy and the mature ages of the vines, are all contribution to what makes a French Burgundy so popular. It doesn’t hurt that the French have had centuries to get this grape right!

 

Another recommendation

Kimberly also recommends the 2017 Volnay Ez Blanches for International Pinot Noir Day 2022.

 

Why?

journée internationale du pinot noir 2022The grapes for this Pinot hail from vines more than 50 years old, with the vineyard located in Volnay. The soil in this vineyard consists of sandy marls and some of the highest levels of limestone that Volnay has to offer. The result of this is a very original wine with nice minerality.

 

This wine, with a crystal-clear ruby colouring, presents aromas of fresh and delicate red berries. The palate shows typical Volnay elegance and the tannic minerality bring length and freshness.

 

What would you pair this Pinot Noir with?

A perfect wine for delicate white meats. Try it with a light bouillon stew, or veal blanquette.

 

What’s your favourite Pinot Noir? What will you be drinking for International Pinot Noir Day 2022?

 

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