The world’s most widely planted wine grapes: No. 4 – Grenache also known as Garnacha
The next grape in our Top 5 red wine grapes of 2014, is another Spanish feature. At number 4 is Grenache or Garnacha.
Grenache – 200,000 hectares
Grenache or Garnacha is a late ripening grape needing a hot, dry climate – grown in Spain, the south of France, Sardinia and parts of California. Its late ripening produces a wine with a high ABV (alcohol by volume) of around 15% despite its deceptively light colour. Its taste profile is a spicy one, laced with berry notes. You will often find hints of raspberries and strawberries with a spicy cinnamon and white pepper tail. It is quite often matched with Syrah, Carnigan, Tempranillo or Cinsault in a blend and is the chief grape in Châteauneuf du Pape.
Grenache also makes up a third of the very popular GSM blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourverde. Throughout the home country of our number three top grape Tempranillo and our number four wine grape Grenache, the attention and praise is often directed more towards Tempranillo due to its use as the main Rioja grape.
In most parts of Spain, Garnacha is considered somewhat of the runt of the litter, due to its low lying bush like vines that have characteristically low yields. This cannot be said for the Priorat region in the North East where old Garnacha vines form the back bone for Grenache vineyards, producing wine so high in quality that back in 2000 they earned the region the coveted DOCa classification (Denominación de Origen Calificada), the highest classification in Spanish wine.
Enjoy a Grenache later this year on September 3rd, as it’s International Grenache day.
High Street Grenache Wine find – Asda’s Noster Nobilis Priorat 2007 , currently just £6.98
Don’t forget to join us next week for the final feature on Syrah.