A little-known fact is that Australia is home to the world’s oldest productive Grenache vines. It is a variety that was a mainstay in the early days of the wine industry, used in the making fortified wines that we were once famous for.
The oldest vines are in McLaren Vale and the Barossa dating back to the 1800s. It is a hardy, vigorous variety, is often grown as a bush vine and is suited to warm summers. Once mostly used in blends, now it is more widely seen as a premium single variety. Last year for the first time a Grenache won Australia’s most famous wine award with the Jimmy Watson Trophy going to 2016 Turkey Flat Grenache.
Grenache is sometimes called the warm climate Pinot as it can range from medium to full bodied and has classic earthy, spice, raspberry, cherry and even white pepper flavours. It’s a great match with grilled meats, game and spicy dishes. It is enjoying a resurgence as people move to more elegant wines and I find that a good Grenache displays an energy and brightness, both on the nose and palate that goes so well on these bright sunny days. Grenache is also used in many blends here and throughout the world and is the base wine of many great Rose wines.
We have some great ones to try at XO Cellars – just ask. Enjoy!