It’s International Grenache Day! What better way to celebrate than to open a bottle of Grenache based wine!
Grenache is a varietal that thrives in hot, dry conditions. This creates a lot of sugar, which in turn creates high alcohol. Grenache is rarely bottled by itself as a single varietal. It is usually blended with other grapes, adding complexity and alcohol strength.
Originating in Spain (where it is known as Garnacha and is blended to make the prestigious wines of Priorat), this varietal is also predominant in the South of France. It is the main grape used in the famous southern Rhone Valley wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, as well as Gigondas and Vacqueyras. It also makes distinctive rosés! Grenache is also found in California and Australia, as well as the Italian island of Sardinia where it is called Cannonau.
I love the Rhone Valley and therefore have quite a few Grenache based wines in my cellar, but decided to open one that wouldn’t break the bank and has seen a few years in the bottle. (I have some ’07 and 09 Châteauneuf-du-Papes and Gigondas’ that still need some time!) So, I opened a 2006 Perrin & Fils Les Christins Vacqueyras in the $25 range. I selected wisely!
This ruby colored wine is a blend of 75% Grenache and 25% Syrah. The expressive nose has cherry, clove, tobacco and barnyard. The palate has the cherry, along with some plum, pepper and a nice earthiness. The tannins are soft and the finish is medium long with some mellow spiciness.
This wine has that Old World quality, but is very approachable with a lot of fruit upfront. New World wine lovers will certainly enjoy this wine as well!
So, if you’re ready to crack open a bottle to celebrate International Grenache Day, have at it! This wine is a winner!