Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Grenache --Varietal of the Month

 Grenache or Granacha as it’s known in Spain, is a medium bodied red wine with moderate acidity, and bright red fruit and strawberry flavors. The tannin structure can range from light and smooth to more pronounced and firm depending on the climate in which it is grown. Grenache is a wonderful and versatile varietal all on it’s own, but its claim to fame is its use as one of the fundamental grapes in the highly regarded French Rhone blend Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape.

Below are capsule reviews of Grenache wines you may find along the Wine Road.

Amista 2016 Grenache, Dry Creek Valley, Morningsong Vineyard  
Exhibiting plum, leather, and licorice with dried strawberry on the nose, the Amista 2016 Grenache has a touch of ripe raspberry and fig on the palate with smooth lingering tannins. This Grenache shows tremendous balance with smooth medium tannins and a nice weight on the finish. I paired the Amista with an old school recipe for Chicken Marbella and it was marvelous complement to the dish, both savory and rich. An old school recipe with a new world wine made for a perfect pairing.

J. Rickards Winery 2018 Grenache, One Lone Row, Alexander Valley  
Rich and juicy the J.Rickards 2018 Grenache is full of black cherry, lavender, jam and allspice on the nose. It delivers a mouth-watering burst of cherry and blueberry, piecrust, and strawberry crumble on the palate with a sweet note of spun sugar on the finish. A delight on its own but I absolutely loved it with Eggplant Parmesan.

Meeker 2016 Grenache Hoskins Ranch, Dry Creek Valley  
Oh boy! This Meeker 2016 Grenache just could not stay in the glass very long! Each sip brought something new starting with bright strawberry and red grapefruit notes then deepening to flavors of blueberry pie, plum and licorice with mid-weight tannin structure. What to pair? I recommend strip steak fajitas with caramelized onions and peppers—it’s just the ticket to make this Grenache shine.

Mounts 2017 Grenache, Estate Grown, Dry Creek Valley
Simply gorgeous—the Mounts 2017 Grenache connects all the dots from tannin to acidity to balance and flavor. It’s a fully integrated and thoroughly delicious example of the grape with tart strawberry and rose on the nose and rich mouthful of pomegranate, ripe cheery and blueberry on the palate with pleasant long lasting tannins. I paired this with a tater tot casserole, which is essentially an old school Shepherd’s Pie, but with tater tots in lieu of mashed potatoes and it elevated the dish from simple and down home to upscale and stunning.

Quivira 2017 Grenache, Wine Creek Ranch, Dry Creek Valley
The Quivira 2017 Grenache is an enigma of tannin and acidity that will captivate you from the first sip. A rush of ripe red fruit with tart strawberry, grapefruit and orange peel aromatics on the nose. The tannins tap dance across the palate with flavors of pomegranate, maraschino cherry, all–spice and white pepper propelled forward by a rush of tart and energetic acidity. Something grounding and savory such as Figs wrapped in Prosciutto would pair quite well with this juicy Grenache.

This was first published on Along the Wine Road here.

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