Shatter Grenache 2014
Maury, in the Roussillon region of France, is home to our hillside Grenache vines, planted more than 60 years ago. Nutrient-poor soil, strong winds and scorching heat stress the vines and cause shatter in the grape clusters. Shatter naturally thins the vines, leaving smaller clusters of intensely concentrated grapes. That flavorful fruit translates to rich, decadent wine in the glass.
Joel Gott was introduced to this extraordinary region by friend and fellow winemaker, Dave Phinney. Joel has been crafting wine under his namesake label, Joel Gott wines, for 20 years, and he has partnered on cutting edge projects, the three thieves and the show. Shatter, is a refined, well-structured Grenache with succulent dark fruit notes, balanced by the soft, subtle influence of French oak. A Grenache that could only be made from the shattered vines of Maury.
An extensive appellation producing a diverse selection of good-quality and value-priced wines, Languedoc-Roussillon is one of the world’s largest wine-producing region, spanning the Mediterranean coast from the Spanish border to Rhône. Languedoc forms the eastern half of the larger appellation, while Roussillon is in the west; the two actually have quite distinct personalities but are typically grouped together. Languedoc’s terrain is generally flat coastal plains, with a warm Mediterranean climate and a frequent risk of drought. Roussillon, on the other hand, is defined by the rugged Pyrenees mountains and near-constant sunshine.
Virtually every style of wine is made in this expansive region. Dry wines are often blends, and varietal choice is strongly influenced by the neighboring Rhône Valley. For reds and rosés, the primary grapes include Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, and Mourvèdre. White varieties include Grenache Blanc, Muscat, Ugni Blanc, Vermentino, Maccabéo, Clairette, Piquepoul and Bourbelenc.
International varieties are also planted in large numbers here, in particular Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In Roussillon, excellent sweet wines are made from Muscat and Grenache in Rivesaltes, Banyuls and Maury. The key region for sparkling wines here is Limoux, where Blanquette de Limoux is believed to have been the first sparkling wine made in France, even before Champagne. Crémant de Limoux is produced in a more modern style.
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.