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Enjoying great glory across a variety of appellations, Grenache thrives in any warm, Mediterranean climate where ample sunlight allows its clusters to achieve full phenolic ripeness. The grape typically produces full-bodied reds interestingly light in both color and tannins. While it can make a charmingly complex single varietal wine, it also lends well to blending. Grenache's birthplace is Spain (there called Garnacha) where it remains important, particularly in Priorat where winemakers enjoy great liberties in blending Grenache with other varieties. Today it might be most well associated with the red blends of the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and its Villages. The Italian island of Sardinia produces bold, rustic Grenache (there called Cannonau) whereas in California, Washington and Australia, Grenache has achieved popularity both flying solo and in blends.
In the Glass
In sufficiently warm conditions, Grenache produces smooth and generous wines that are loaded with strawberry, cherry blackberry, purple plum and in the richest examples, even cocoa, black tea or licorice.
Despite its bold flavors, Grenache has very mild-mannered tannins, which makes it eminently quaffable on its own, yet easy to match with food. Because of its friendly nature, Grenache is the ultimate barbecue red, pairing happily with lamb chops, pork loin or tri-tip. Unlike most other full-bodied reds, Grenache’s low tannin level ensures that it will not easily be fazed by a bit of spice.
Sardinia is often revered for its association with a long and healthy life. Residents of the Italian island often live well into their 90s and beyond, crediting this to their antioxidant-rich red wines, like Cannonau, along with their healthy Mediterranean diet.
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d'Arenberg The Custodian Grenache 1999Grenache from McLaren Vale, Australia
Turkey Flat Grenache Noir 1999Grenache from Barossa Valley, Barossa, Australia
Charles Melton Barossa Valley Grenache 1999Grenache from Barossa Valley, Barossa, Australia
Jaffurs Grenache Stolpman Vineyard 1999Grenache from Central Coast, California
Sine Qua Non Icarus Grenache 1999Grenache from California
Wild Horse Equus Grenache James Berry Vineyard 1999Grenache from Central Coast, California
Clarendon Hills Romas Grenache 1999Grenache from McLaren Vale, Australia
Alban Grenache 1999Grenache from Edna Valley, Central Coast, California
Clarendon Hills Kangarilla Grenache 1999Grenache from McLaren Vale, Australia
M. Chapoutier Rivesaltes 1999Grenache from Rivesaltes, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
M. Chapoutier Terra Vinya 1999Grenache from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Bosquet des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Grenache 1999Grenache from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
Bedford Winery Grenache 1999Grenache from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
Beckmen Purisima Mountain Vineyard Grenache 1999Grenache from Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California