Grenache is one of the most prolific and productive grape varieties on the planet. It is now planted, in varying amounts, in almost every major wine producing zone in the world, but southern France and northern Spain have more under plantation than anywhere else. It can produce wines of both a regal and a humble character. From Chateauneuf du Pape and Priorat (regal) to Cotes du Rhone and Spanish Garnacha (often humble), the grape produces wines that vary greatly in price and style. In its simplest form, it yields a light to medium bodied, freshly fruited, peppery red wine, however, at its peak, it produces deeply colored, long lived wines that are considered some of the finest in the world.
If you find all of this confusing, stop by this Friday and we’ll talk and taste you through five different Grenache based wines from Spain and France. We’ll start with a couple of whites (yes, there is a white version of the grape as well) that are both dry, exotic and “summery”, before we move on to the reds. The first red is from the southern, Languedoc region of France, and it is packed with flavors of fresh berries, spices and herbs. We’ll follow that up with a big, smooth Garnacha from the northern sector of Spain that tastes like $30, but costs a lot less. We’ll finish up with a big, strapping, ageworthy Cotes du Rhone Villages from the fantastic 2010 vintage………..this one is great now with grilled meats, but it’s definitely a cellar candidate too.
$5/person…..Free for Grape Nuts
The Wines You’ll Get To Taste
1. 2011 Herencia Altes Garnatxa Blanca (Terra Alta, Spain) – The Altes family have some of the oldest white Grenache vineyards in the world, and some of the fruit that makes it into this bottles is close to 100 years old. Aromatic, crisp and fresh, this one brims with white peach, tropical fruits and mineral notes. It works great as an aperitif and loves fresh fish or simple tapas.
2. 2012 Domaine de Bila Haut Cotes du Roussillon (Roussillon, France) – Bila Haut is the Roussillon outpost of the Chapoutier family, one of the most famous and respected winemaking families in southern France. Their vineyards are farmed organically, using biodynamic techniques as well, and this wine is a blend of Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Macabeu. Apricot, pear, and honeysuckle/floral notes inform the nose of this fresh and zesty white wine custom made for back porch sipping or serving with fresh, Asheville farmer’s market veggies.
3. 2011 Devois de Perret Coteaux du Languedoc (Languedoc, France) – This wine is straight up charming! A blend of organically grown Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre, it is a red wine that “over warm” you during the warmer months. Fresh berries, classic southern French spice and herb notes and low tannin/astringency make this a low cost wine to buy in quantity for your summer cook outs and casual drinking.
4. 2011 Filon “Real” Garnacha (Calatayud, Spain) – You’ll need to hit the “reset” button on your senses before you taste this one as it is quite different than #3. Registering at 15% alcohol, this is big, fat, opulent Spanish Garnacha from old, organically cultivated vineyards in northern Spain. Ripe blueberry, kirsch, clove, nutmeg and vanilla inform the nose and palate of this rich, pleasure bent offering.
5. 2010 Domaine de la Bastide Cotes du Rhone Villages “Visan” (Southern Rhone Valley, France) – Vintage 2010 was a nearly perfect one in the southern Rhone. Hot, dry and sunny, the late ripening Grenache reached its fullest potential and yielded wines like this one. Big, rugged and packed with dark berries, mineral, spice and herb, this one is deserving of your best grilled meat dish or a cool cellar. Buy it in quantity, drink some now, lay some down and call it a good day.
Purchase any 6+ bottles of the tasting wines and we’ll give you a 15% discount!