Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Varietal of the Month: Grenache


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 Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Grenache 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 depending on the climate in which it is grown.


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



Amista 2022 Grenache, Morningsong Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley


The Amista 2022 Grenache, Morningsong Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley is a harbinger of Spring with a fresh floral nose composed of plum blossom, red raspberry, a hint of clove, juniper and strawberry. On the palate, notes both sweet and savory come forward with hibiscus flower, dried strawberry, juniper and a flavor sensation like that of a fine confectionary made of dusty rose petals and fine pea gravel. That may sound weird, but trust me—it’s delicious—delicate and balanced. It has great structure with soft acidity and medium tannins on a long fine spicy finish. Pair with Croque Monsieur sandwich, a melted marvel composed of French ham and Gruyère cheese.


ABV 14.7%



Capo Creek 2021 Estate Grenache, Dry Creek Valley


The Capo Creek 2021 Estate Grenache, Dry Creek Valley opens with a nose of dried rose petals and the bright scent of red cherry, strawberry compote, plum, clove and violets. It also has a luxe scent like that of a fine bag made of pebbled Nappa leather— deep and earthy. On the palate, a soft acidity with herbal notes of rosemary and thyme mingle with flavors of sweet plum, warm fig newton and a touch of strawberry. Medium tannins and a spicy finish make this a sure thing for pairing with a hearty Moroccan stew.


ABV 14.2%

$ 85


David Coffaro 2022 Grenache, Dry Creek Valley


The David Coffaro 2022 Grenache, Dry Creek Valley is aromatic and bursting with scents of ripe red and black cherries, candied lavender, Madagascar vanilla and a spice mix of clove, nutmeg and white pepper. On the palate it’s supple and savory full of juicy plum, strawberry, blood orange peel, cinnamon, piecrust and a bit of figgy pudding. Great texture with a long dry finish and soft tannins. Pair with curried empanadas.


ABV 15.0%



Davis Family Vineyards 2021 Grenache, Dry Creek Valley


The Davis Family Vineyards 2021 Grenache, Dry Creek Valley is seductive and bold with aromas of sugarplum, rose petals, dried herbs, raspberry, sage and sandalwood. Like the atelier of a master perfume maker, the scents mingle and blend in the most amazing ways. On the palate a range of flavors from red cherry, and dried strawberry to black olive, lavender, thyme, and black tea. Supple and silky body texture with light tannins and acidity that support a smooth and spicy finish. Pair with Liberty duck and cherry-pomegranate sauce.


ABV 13.9%



The Meeker Vineyard 2022 Grenache North Coast


If Willy Wonka made wine it would probably be as whimsical and magical as The Meeker Vineyard 2022 Grenache. It has a dreamscape of scents with a soft perfumed nose of vanilla, musk, strawberry-anise, spicy carnation and clove. On the palate, blackcherry, dried strawberry, spun sugar, fig and a tangy herbal note of sour red cherry and thyme. Great texture with medium acidity, soft tannins and a zesty, piquant finish. Pair with something sweet and savory like a Summer berry pie or poached pears. And for the record—I’m team Gene Wilder all the way, Depp and Chalamet have their moments but nothing beats the OG Willy Wonka of 1971.


ABV 14.6%



Moshin Vineyards 2021 Grenache, Scotts Creek Vineyard, Russian River Valley


The Moshin Vineyards 2021 Grenache, Scotts Creek Vineyard, Russian River Valley is like a cheerful song you can’t stop humming. It has a lyrical nose of rose petals, plum, strawberry, black cherry, sunshine and sage. On the palate a big bang of rich flavors with red plum, pomegranate, raspberry and clove. The light tannins and juicy acidity bring forward notes of leather and crushed gravel with a warm peppery finish. It’s smooth and soft like the lyrics to Soft Kitty! (Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty, little ball of fur, Happy Kitty, Sleepy Kitty, Purr purr purr...) If Sheldon drank wine he’d pair this with mee krob and chicken satay with extra peanut sauce.


ABV 13.3%



Peterson 2017 GSM, Dry Creek Valley 


The Peterson 2017 GSM, Dry Creek Valley has a scent that is dusty and floral with a touch of saddle leather and a lovely whiff of herbs that smell like sage and chaparral with a note of petrichor. It’s like riding horseback through the high dessert after a light rain. On the palate it’s popping with complexity presenting flavors of raspberry, blackberry and spicy plum sauce. Saddle up and enjoy the ride as this wine takes you on a sensory journey to flavor land. Pair with barbecued ribs slathered with a tangy tomato based sauce with maple, apple-cider vinegar, and brown sugar.


ABV 14.7%



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