Castillo de Monseran Garnacha 2018
Castillo de Monseran is located in Carineña in Spain. Cariñea is frequently cited as the birthplace of Grenache/Garnacha. Only later did the varietal migrate to southern France, where it gained fame as a Rhone varietal, especially in the big, peppery Chateauaneuf de Papes of the southern Rhône. The terroir in Carineña holds similarities of the southern Rhône.
Castillo de Monséran is made by winemaker Hugh Ryman and Jesús Prieto, the winemaker of Bodegas San Valero.
Hugh is a graduate of the prestigious school of winemaking at Bordeaux University and went on to gain practical experience in Australia, working at Petaluma with the legendary winemaker Brian Croser, while Jesús graduated from Zaragoza.
Together Hugh and Jesús work with a team of viticulturalists to select appropriate vineyard parcels and to choose the right moment for picking. They then carefully control the vinification and ageing of Castillo de Monséran in tank or in barrel, before making the final blends.
Their close personal involvement at every step of the production process ensures the style, quality and consistency of the wines.
This northeastern Spanish town is believed to be the origin of the grape with the same name. However, Carinena (in French, known as Carignan) has all but been abandoned in favor of Garnacha, which is better suited for its arid climate. The region of Carinena also produces fine examples of whites based on Garnacha Blanca, Macabeo, Parellada and others.
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. While it can make a charmingly complex single varietal wine, it also lends well to blending. Grenache plays an important role in the blends of Spain's Priorat and in 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 and Australia, Grenache has achieved popularity both flying solo and in blends.
Tasting Notes for Grenache
Grenache is a dry, red wine that is typically full-bodied and interestingly light in both color and tannins. Grenache produces wines that are loaded with strawberry, cherry blackberry, purple plum and in the richest examples, even cocoa, black tea or licorice.
Perfect Food Pairings for Grenache
Despite its bold flavors, Grenache has very mild-mannered tannins, which makes it eminently quaffable on its own, yet easy to match with food. Grenache is the ultimate barbecue red, pairing happily with lamb chops, pork loin or tri-tip. Grenache’s low tannin level ensures that it will not easily be fazed by a bit of spice.
Sommelier Secrets for Grenache
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 and low stress lifestyle.