While I’m not too sure about these international grape days, if there’s a grape that deserves to be more valued, then grenache is very high on my list!
From its base in southern Rhone, Grenache has spread to all four corners of the world and is producing fruity, juicy, mouth-watering wines. Here are five wines made of 100% Grenache that would be a welcome guest on any dinner table.
Yangarra Estate Vineyard 2011 McLaren Vale Old Vine Grenache, Australia
The vines for this wine were planted in 1946 so they’re nearly 70 years old. It’s biodynamic, wild-fermented, elegant, and has a bewitching nose with aromas of mulberries, red plums, black pepper, marjoram, raspberries, and a hint of spearmint. It’s soft and succulent on the palate, fruity, fleshy and substantial, with lifted notes of red berries peeking through. I could drink a whole bottle of this on my own with roast duck or pork; a smoked bacon spinach salad; turkey and cranberry sauce; sausages with a little spice, and ribs done on the BBQ. $33 and worth every cent. CSPC +728439
Yalumba Old Bush Vines Grenache, Barossa Valley, Australia
From Australia’s oldest family-owned winery, with five generations and 160+ years in the business, Yalumba has one of the oldest vineyards of very gnarled bush vines, producing very low yields of concentrated Grenache grapes. This medium-bodied wine has bright cherry aromas that follow through to the palate (we tasted them with dried cherries and they were completely complementary!). It would be perfect with roast chicken, Chicken Ballotine and with a Thanksgiving Turkey, especially if there was cranberry sauce alongside! $22.50 is a steal for this wine! CSPC +531228
Bodegas San Alejandro Pablo Old Vine Garnacha, Aragon, Spain
This Spanish Garnacha is produced from 80+ year-old vines in Calatayud, in southwest Aragon. The nose is a temptress, full and rustic with herbal aromas of cherry and tarragon, as well as well-worn leather. It follows through on the palate with a lip-smacking juiciness and tones of red liquorice. With its smooth tannins, I’d love to try this wine with something spicy like blackened chicken or catfish! At $15, Pablo represents outstanding value. It’s a wine you can drink on its own or with a wide range of dishes. CSPC + 205518
Torres 5 G Garnacha 2013, Penedes, Spain
This new to Calgary young wine is bright and fruity with all the flavours you’d hope for from a Spanish Garnacha – raspberries and blackberries with lifted hints of violet and herbs. The bottle represents the five generations of the Torres family, who settled in Penedes over three hundred years ago and have been making wine since 1870. Another easy drinking, wine that would be perfect with pork, chicken, and salmon dishes, and dishes with kale or spinach. $17 CSPC +769637
Château de Saint Cosme NV Little James Basket Press Rouge, Rhone Valley, France
Now here’s a thing – a non-vintage wine from Château de Saint Cosme, a family winery since 1490, over 14 generations in the heart of the southern Rhone’s Gigondas region. It’s made in a solera system with vintages from 1999 to 2013, which gives the winemakers a freedom to manage quality and style even in bad vintages, and at $19.95, it’s a much more complex a wine than you’d expect from its price tag. The wine starts with a rush and a burst of rustic flavours of dark berries, and would be an ideal food wine more than a sipping wine. It’s a wine to share with friends over a casual meal, when a couple of bottles will disappear very quickly! $19.95 CSPC + 724259