Country The two areas that immediately come to mind when you think of Garnacha/ Grenache are the southern Rhone area of France and Spain ( Penedes and Priorato as well as in many Riojas). Having tasted many good old vine Grenache wines from the Southern Australia regions of McLaren Vale and Barossa these must also be on the list.
Style Red fruit, white pepper and high alcohol, full bodied with soft tannins. Pale colour. Rose wines are also common
Flavours to expect Red fruit including strawberries, white pepper, can tend to be 'jammy' or baked fruit flavours if from a hot climate. Age brings flavours of caramel, toffee and meat.
Characteristics This is a high alcohol, full bodied, pale wine which is light in tannins but with age browns and produces flavours as above. Blends well with many grapes including Syrah, Mouvedre, Cinsault, Tempranillo and other Rhone reds.
Problems It relies of hot conditions to ripen. The wine can lack tannin/acid structure and is often pale ( especially if old vines are not used ) and often has high alcohol due to its long growing season.
Points of Note This is a vine that will grow where many others fail to thrive, it is often grown without support ie as a bush, en vaso. It can be made into a sweet wine ( by stopping fermentation early) and this is done in Banyuls. It ages well and in Chateau-neuf-du-pape one could expect 6-13 years, in Priorat 7-14 and in VDN Banyuls 5-10.
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