I just found out that September 19, is International Grenache Day
Not sure why – maybe it is an excuse for people to flog more booze or have something else to write/blog about
Normally I would skip past the 19th of September, as it is not my birthday and I don’t really know what happened on this day – Not a lot I would guess.
A quick google search shows the following:
- It is National Talk like a Pirate Day – Where is Johnny Depp when you need him?
- On this day In 1893, NZ was the first country to grant all women the vote (Now that is pretty important) – Damn you Kiwi’s, why couldn’t Australia do this first?
- And it is Jimmy Fallon’s birthday – How cool is the Tonight Show – take a look at You Tube if you don’t know anything about this guy. He is very funny and very talentedu
Maybe I am being a bit harsh about the 19th of September, plus I am drinking a lot of Grenache based wines at the moment – so bring on the 19th.
Like almost every variety, Grenache can make simple quaffers, through to hedonistic wines that have reached iconic status. What is a little unusual, for an Australian palate, is that Grenache is mainly used in a blend. It is pretty rare to find straight Grenache. There are some, but it seems to me the sum is worth more than the parts when talking about Grenache.
Grenache is mainly found in warmer climates, so in Australia think Barossa and McLaren Vale, where the ubiquitous GSM’s are everywhere. If you didn’t know, GSM is what Australian’s call Grenache Shiraz Mouverdre blends. One of the best is Charles Melton’s Nine Popes, but this is a bit pricey, but worth the effort to track it down. Australian examples tend to be found around $20-$30 and are made in a juicy early drinking style, that have a pronounced Christmas cake type character that I love.
However, I tend to drink more of the Grenache based wines from the Southern Rhone. Here you can get delightful wines for under $20, but if you want and have the budget, you can drink wines from estates with hundreds of years of history, for hundreds of dollars.
The famed Chateauneuf-du-Pape is the grand daddy of them all and the wines are awesome, but then so are the wines from the lesser villages like Lirac and Gigandos. From Southern Rhone, you get wines more in the red fruit category but with awesome complexity and something I call a “Linear Acidity” that is hard to describe. The wines are never huge, but they are big, for they have this acidity that runs through the palate from the front to the back, which the fruit hangs of.
A bit wanky I agree, but hey, it is Grenache Day.
They other area all about Grenache is Priorat in Spain. This is one of my favourite regions; I just cannot afford to drink these wines very often. They are bloody expensive, but bloody good. Elegance and sophistication are the hall marks of these wines. A warm climate combined with tiny yields, on steep hillside sites of slate and quartz soils are nirvana for Grenache and the wines really shine. If you want to splurge keep an eye out for Alvaro Palacios’s L’Ermita. I have checked – it will cost you $1500 in Sydney. If you have a bottle, let me know for I would love to try it with you.
On the 19th, I will be drinking more modest Grenache. I have arranged to check out some potential Bullion Drop offerings, which just happen to be 3 Aussie Grenache based wines.
So what will you be drinking?