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R Wines Bitch Grenache 2006
Fruit sourced from Vineyards in the Ebenezer sub-region of Barossa. Ripe quince and lifted spice with a rich juicy concentration. Intense perfumed characters come from the sandy loam and dark berry characters from the heavier red-brown soils.
"Bitch Grenache is sourced from 40- to 60-year-old vines from the Ebenezer sub-region of the Barossa. With the price of Cotes du Rhone soaring due to the weak dollar, I am hard pressed to think of a better value in full-flavored Grenache. The 2006 Bitch Grenache received no oak treatment. Medium ruby-colored, it presents an alluring bouquet of earth, smoke, rhubarb, cherry, and strawberry. Supple, sweet, and tasty, this wine totally over-delivers for its humble price and is an exceptional value. R Wines is a new company founded by importer and marketing genius, Dan Philips, along with co-owner, renowned winemaker, Chris Ringland. Winemakers for R Wines are Chris Ringland, Lisa Wetherell, Andrew Hercock, and John Hughes. It encompasses four familiar labels, Marquis Philips, 3 Rings, Roogle, and Bitch, along with 13 others created especially for R Wines. Needless to say, the packaging of these wines is amazingly creative but, more importantly, what is in the bottle consistently over-delivers from low-end to high-end."
Historically and presently the most important wine-producing region of Australia, the Barossa Valley is set in South Australia, where more than half of the country’s wine is made. Because the climate is very hot and dry, vineyard managers must be careful so that grapes do not become overripe.
The intense heat is ideal for plush, bold reds, particularly Rhône blends featuring Shiraz, Grenache, and Mataro (Mourvèdre). White grapes can produce crisp, fresh wines from Riesling, Chardonnay, and Semillon if they are planted at higher altitudes.
Most of Australia’s largest wine producers are based here and Shiraz plantings date back as far as the 1850s or before. Many of them are dry-farmed and bush-trained, still offering less than one ton per acre of inky, intense, purple juice.
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.