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California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like , , , and in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. and continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.
Grenache is a thick-skinned, late-ripening variety that requires a warm or hot climate to grow. Its tolerance for drought conditions make it an ideal match for the water-starved regions of , the , and . It is rarely made as a varietal wine, and usually produces full-bodied blends that are high in alcohol and low in acidity with soft tannins and aromas of cherry, rhubarb, raspberry, cinnamon, tobacco, and thyme. These wines are typically matured in large old oak vessels so as not to overwhelm the delicate fruit flavors of Grenache.
Grenache is the most widely planted variety in the Southern Rhône, and the best-quality blends come from where the wines are full-bodied with rich texture and concentrated spicy red fruit. Look to producers such as , , or for the best expressions of these wines.
In Spain, this variety is referred to as “Garnacha” and is an important blending partner of in the region of , where low-yielding old vines enable the production of intense, complex, full-bodied, wines with high tannin, fresh black fruit, and toasty oak. It is also an important contribution to blends in , where it contributes perfume, body, and alcohol to . and create some of the best expressions of these Spanish styles.
In the New World, high-quality Grenache-based blends are found in the and regions of Australia, where old bush vines yield low volumes of highly concentrated grapes. Wines from top-quality producers such as are robust, with intense flavors of ripe red berry and peppery spice. producers such as are also making world-renowned wines from Grenache.
Grenache’s spice-forward flavor profile makes it a great pairing option for spiced and herb-heavy dishes, including roasted and spiced vegetables, braised pork, turkey breast, and a range of ethnic foods. However, it is important to note that the high alcohol in Grenache can magnify the heat of piquant dishes, and vice versa.
Collector Data For This Wine
- 29 bottles owned
- 7 collectors