Having only tasted several wines made of the fashionable grenache grape in mclaren vale, southern australia, we seemed up what my friend james halliday needed to say in regards to the grape in the 1990 australian wine guide. (halliday is australias best-known and most experienced wine blogger. aged 82, he has only relinquished full responsibility for the yearly halliday wine companion that rates just about any wine made inthecountry.)
The section at the start lists 116 grape brands. but of grenache there isn't any mention, therefore infra dig had been it considered after that in australia fit only to provide raw product for low priced fortified wine.
But what must i get a hold of emblazoned regarding smart pamphlet that followed the recent tasting? a quote from halliday: grenache is mclaren vales key weapon not merely australias most useful, but every bit as effective as compared to the rhne area.
For quite some time, grenache ended up being connected virtually exclusively aided by the southern rhne and provence in south-east france. it will be the dominant ingredient in chteauneuf-du-pape, gigondas, vacqueyras, ctes du rhne and many other appellations in south rhne valley. obviously quite pale, grenache can also be the key ingredient in today's tidal wave of provenal ros. (typical south rhne reds tend to be big and beefy spicy, deep-coloured and rich frequently as a result of blending with deeper-coloured grapes such as for instance syrah and mourvdre.)
Yet virtually the maximum amount of grenache happens to be planted in spain where it is called garnacha such as france and spanish producers have spearheaded a style of red wine based on the variety. reds not have to be dark become admired, starting the doorway for garnacha, which is relatively transparent, but fresh and nice, with floral aromas, often of flowers a less expensive alternative to delicate red burgundy.
This new type of wine has brought fame to your gredos mountains west of madrid. its fashioned from old garnacha bush vines, that you can get in lots of spanish wine areas. very carefully managed, garnacha good fresh fruit features yielded undoubtedly good and frequently underpriced wines in calatayud, navarra, cariena and campo de borja. even yet in rioja, a tempranillo stronghold, an escalating quantity of wines in line with the also-ran garnacha grape are increasingly being created, specially from old vines.
Grenache is unusually resistant to vine-trunk conditions, which explains why there are so many mature plants all over the world. moreover it copes really with drought.
This strength has actually prompted re-evaluation of the variety in southern africa, especially in the unirrigated interior wine regions such as for example swartland. there, celebrity performers david & nadia (the brand name of a talented married couple) have decided to quit other red-wine grapes to focus on the grenache that they have seen driving out heatwaves and droughts easily.
You may think this could make grenache ideal for californias many vineyards and youd be appropriate. as patrick comiskey published in the 2016 guide american rhne: inside mid-1990s, since the united states rhne activity kicked into large equipment, manufacturers scoured hawaii for bona fide rhne types currently planted in california. these people were significantly amazed to find out that grenache had been every-where around them. the variety had rarely been identified on labels but ended up being yoked into service rather as natural product for plonk, high yields camouflaging the red grapes intrinsic personality.
Randall grahm of bonny doon ended up being one of the first to commemorate ca grenache in his clos de gilroy from monterey. these days, really individual interpretations of grenache can be obtained through the entire condition and especially in the sierra foothills additionally the central coast.
In italy, grenache is grown almost exclusively on sardinia, in which it's generally cannonau. sardinians and spaniards vigorously dispute whom expanded it very first, but its obvious from antonella cordas wines, for instance, that the transparent brand new design are available on the island.
So what about australian grenache? having come later to your contemporary grenache celebration, the australian winemakers whom today go on it seriously are in a position to study from people who emerged before those, for example, which experimented with little, brand-new oakbarrels for ageing and realisedthat grenache much likes large pine casks or cement. as elsewhere, a few of the grape stems tend to be held into the fermentation vat to addzest.
Mclaren vale has actually adopted grenache a lot more than elsewhere in australia, partially because itcan boast a lot of old vines on thesortof sandy grounds that suititwell.
I inquired halliday the reason why grenache was missing from their 1990 record. he didnt explain but emailed fascinating evidence of the varietys rehabilitation in australia. this present year, the average cost of a tonne of grenache grapes had been a$1,209 (660) higher than for just about any other major grape.
Regrettably, for variety to convey it self completely the wines tend to be rather saturated in alcohol, but two associated with 12 mclaren vale grenaches i tasted were under 14 percent, and very tasty too. the cheapest, 13.5 %, had been among three thistledown wines made by uk masters of wine giles cooke and fergal tynan. inside their pursuit to become the authority on australian grenache, they confess to being empowered by spanish garnacha.
The mystery possibly is why the new, delicate style is so difficult to get in the grapes french heartland, the southern rhne.
Tasting notes on purple pages of. more stockists from. follow jancis on twitter
Follow on twitter to find out about our latest stories first. tune in to our podcast, heritage call, where ft editors and unique friends discuss life and art in the time of coronavirus. subscribe on apple, spotify, or wherever you listen.