A closer look at Grenache

As well as grown in Spain, Grenache is also grown in France, California,  in Sardinia where it is known as Cannonau and here in Australia. Usually the grape is grown on bush vines and excels in hot, windy climates with poor soils. In Spain it is grown in the north and east including in Rioja and further north, in Navarra.

Although Grenache can be found on its own, it is more often added to a blend, usually with Shiraz and Mourvèdre where its home is the southern Rhône valley in France, in particular in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It’s a very versatile grape and as part of a blend, can make wonderful rosés from the south of France; Tavel, Lirac, Provence and Languedoc Roussillon. It is also used to make fortified wines in Banyuls.

In Australia, the GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre or Mataro) blend is more common in the Barossa Valley and McClaren Vale but it’s slowly starting to find its way over to WA.

Here are our top Grenache picks for this week, three from Australia and one from Provence in southern France:

  1. Empirica Castelli (Grenche/Shiraz/Mataro) 2012 $29.99, from Denmark.
  2. SC Pannel Old Vine Garnacha Blend Tinto 2012 $29.99, from McLaren Vale
  3. Ministry of Clouds 2014 Tempranillo Grenache $32, from McLaren Vale
  4. Château des Ferrages 2013 Cuvée Roumery (Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah), $28.99, a rosé from Provence which was featured in the latest issue of On the Vine