Oh, how we love Grenache at Table Wine! This versatile grape is one of the most prolific in the world, making up the core component of many of the wines from Southern France and Spain, but also showing up in wines from all parts of the globe. We’ll sample five of them blind, and you’ll get to be the judge as to which region produces your favorite style of Grenache. All wines will be offered by the glass as well! The “545″ format is a clever title for our newest tasting format, whereby you simply taste 5 wines for $5. The tasting is free for Grape Nuts. We will hold tastings of this sort on the Fridays when we don’t have Wine Downs. Our first one is this Friday, January 20 and the tasting goes from 4 to 7 p.m. Join us and take the “Grenache Challenge!”
The lineup is below, but we won’t serve them in this order – you’ll each have a rating sheet and the wines will be revealed to you once you’ve tasted all of the wines.
1. Vinae Murei Garnacha “Xiloca” – This one hails from Aragon in north-central Spain, and many believe that this is where the Grenache/Garnacha grape originated. Either way, this is one flavor-packed wine, with notes of lush cherry and raspberry framed by cedar and spice.
2. Domaine Charvin “A Cote” – The Charvin family are one of the top producers in France’s Southern Rhone region, and they make their wines as naturally as possible. This one is a blend of old vine Grenache with just a splash of Merlot and it is bottled unfiltered to preserve all of its goodness.It tastes of bright cherry, plum and strawberry with notes of white pepper throughout.
3. Argiolas Cannonau “Costera” – What the heck is Cannonau? It is the Sardinian name for Grenache and this one is 100% varietal. This is probably the most rustic of the wines you’ll have – notes of leather, Provencal herbs and a slight balsamic quality make this wine a love it or hate it sort of tasting experience.
4. Domaine la Garrigue Cotes du Rhone “Cuvée Romaine” – This is Josh’s favorite Cotes du Rhone from the highly acclaimed 2010 vintage. From the estate’s vineyards in the village of Vacqueyras, this blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah is rustic, full bodied, fully flavored Cotes du Rhone that tastes like a wine that costs a lot more.
5. Wind Gap “Orra” Red Blend – Pax Mahle spent many years making heavy duty, highly rated wines under his Pax label, and this is his newest project. From special plots of old vines throughout California’s North Coast, this blend of Grenache, Mourvedre and Counoise reminds me of a Chateauneuf du Pape.