Monday, 9 June 2008

Grenache

The Grenache grape is called Garnacha in Spain where it is particularly important in Rioja. Grenache is thought to have originated in Aragon but has since spread over the Pyrenees into Southern France. Grenache is the dominant variety in most Southern Rhone wines and some Chateauneuf du Papes are made entirely from extremely old Grenache vines. The Grenache grape does well in hot, dry regions, and its strong stalk makes it well suited for windy conditions. It ripens with very high sugar levels and is sometimes used to make fortified wines, including the red vins doux naturels of Roussillon such as Banyuls. In Ribera del Duero it is one of the grape varieties used in the fabled Vega Sicilia, one of Winston Churchill’s favourite wines.

Grenache has aromas and flavours of black pepper, rich black olive, dark chocolate, roasted game and sweet red fruits. It's a dark inky purple grape with thick durable skin and a vibrant red interior and is sometimes called Tintorera which refers to the red dye like quality the grape has in the wine.

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