You like “potayto” and I like “potahto”. You like “tomayto” and I like “tomahto”. “Potayto”, “potahto”, “tomayto”, “tomahto”! You like Garnacha and I like Grenache! At the end of the day it’s simple semantics. If you’re ever heard of the grape you might have wondered why there are two spellings for the exact same grape? Well similar to the way that the same words have different pronunciation, grape varietals can be spelled differently depending on the language. And, we have two languages here – Spanish and French.
This full-bodied grape originated in Northern Spain and has propagated into the South of France. The grape originated in the Aragón region of France and has made its way up through the Rhône Valley.
Historically, the Grenache grape has primarily been used in blends such as popular GSM red wines (Grenache/Syrah/Mouverdre). I recently had the opportunity to sample a few single varietals and blends with Grenache as the primary grape provided by the Enjoy It’s From Europe group. Traveling to the area from Aragón up to Roussillon is on my great wine regions to visit list, so this was a fantastic chance for me to experience a selection before visiting.
Garnacha/Grenache grapes are used to produce a wide variety of wines includes whites, reds and roses. This varietal also produces a very unique style which is labeled Gray Grenache. The wines produced from this grape are pale pink in color with a light crisp citrus aroma. A visit to your local wine store should introduce you to a wide variety of Garnacha/Grenache winemaker blends and single varietals.
This grape thrives in hot, dry Mediterranean type climates. Growth has expanded to California, Australia and North Africa – basically any place with a similar climate. Climate of course is only one part of the growth, terroir is another. The deep roots of the Garnacha/Grenache vines require well-drained soils.
One of the wines that I am featuring from the selection received, is a red blend produced by Jeff Carrel of the Maison Carrel. Le Grenache dans la Peau features 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. These grapes are grown in the Maury Sec region of Roussillon. The Maison Carrel Chateau is located in the village of Saint-Laurent de la Cabrerise in the Corbières region of Southern France.
Le Grenache dans la Peau boasts a deep purple color almost as dark as a black grape. The nose on this 2016 red wine features dark fruits – think of blackberry and plum. The palate starts out with an abundance of fruit and transitions to spices. Medium levels of acidity are evident. The tannins ranged from medium to heavy and are influenced by food pairings. At the end of a sip, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by a hint of liquorice flavor. This is a wine with a long finish that giving you ample time to savor the flavors. The price point is exceptional for this bottle of wine at $14. There is one caveat though –U.S. Distributors are working to make this more readily available so you most likely won’t see it in your local grocery store. Ask your local wine store expert about ordering a case for you the next time that they are securing French wines. And consider asking for recommendations from a wine steward or sommelier on locations to secure Garnacha and Grenache single or blended varietals from Spain and France to add to your cellar.
Remember to drink what it is that makes you truly happy and always think positively!
@blackwinelovers @winesofgranacha #grenache