After being underwhelmed with the last wine, I was elated that the next one—a Grenache from Spain—was not only one of my favorite varietals, but also from a region I love. The perfect marriage!
There are so many great things about Grenache. Whether blended with other varietals or standing on its own, it brings sensuous fruit, sometimes a little spice, and the ability to flex to a lot of cuisine options.
Grenache is perhaps most well known for its starring role in Chateauneuf-du-Pape from the Rhône region of France. Known domestically as a GSM, this is a blend comprised predominantly of Grenache, combined with Mourvèdre and Syrah. However, the grape originated in Spain, where it is called Garnacha.
It likes warm weather and for that reason can have a higher alcohol level and a punchiness to it. But, at the same time, it is a thin-skinned grape that can also produce a nice summery rosé. There are lots of ways to enjoy it.
The day we decided to open this bottle had been cold and blustery and we were hankering for some slow cooked braised short ribs. The selected bottle from Navarre, which is located in the north central part of Spain not too far from the Rioja region, was layered, peppery and did not let the richness of the ribs overpower it.
Grenache is widely planted domestically and can be found in Paso Robles, Napa, Sonoma, and even down in Arizona. I have previously featured two great producers of Grenache: Crux in Sonoma and Rune in Sonoita, AZ.