All About Grenache & Garnacha

with No Comments

Pronunciations – “gruh-naash”, “garr-NA-cha”

Grenache is thought to have originated in Spain and afterwards it spread to France and Italy. It loves hot, arid conditions and it tends to produce wines with a lower tannin level alongside high alcohol. The wines are usually pale to medium in intensity with a ruby red color in youth.

The wines are usually pale to medium in intensity with a ruby red color in youth. It has lots of synonyms such as Cannonau in Italy, Garnacha in Spain, Garnacha Tinta. The most notable regions where Grenache is grown are South France and Southern Rhone Valley, Catalunya in Spain, Sardegna in Italy and even Barossa Valley in Australia. 

Grenache Tasting Notes

Primary Notes – Red fruit (Strawberry, Red Plum, Raspberry) Black fruit (Black Cherry)

Secondary Notes – Oak (Smoke, Cinnamon, Vanilla)

Tertiary Notes – When aged it has leather, game, earth, meat, tobacco, coffee, cedar

Body – Medium to Full body

Palate – Sweetness – Dry; Acidity – Medium; Tannin – Medium;

Typical ABV% – 14.5-16%

Grenache Styles 

Grenache is used to make a wide variety of styles. Dry still red wines are mostly produced where Grenache plays a vital role in the blend or it is made as a single varietal wine. It can be made as a rose wine as well.

Notable Wines Made From Grenache  – Most notable wine of them all would most definitely have to be Châteauneuf-du-Pape made in the appellation of the same name in Southern Rhone.

There are also classic GSM blends made in Southern Rhone and in Australia too. Garnacha from Priorat is also very notable, as it’s a darker, fuller expression of the grape.

Grenache Classifications 

As we have Grenache grown all around the world there are plenty of appellations to mention, however we will mention only those that are most known.
In France we have the following AOCs:
-Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC

-Côtes-du-Rhône  AOC

-Côtes-du-Rhône Village AOC
-Minervois AOC

-Côtes du Roussillon Village AOC

In Spain we’ve got :

-Priorat DOQ
-Calatayud DO

The most notable Australian region is Barossa Valley. Small hint: Check out a producer called Torbreck from Australia, they have a wonderful GSM blend!

When To Drink Grenache

Grenache can be drunk with a wide variety of food. The lighter ones can be easily drunk with lighter red meat dishes. The more robust wines such as Priorat wines and Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC can complement the boldest dishes such as stews and barbecued beef. 

Garnacha Serving Temperature – 59-68 ºF (15-20 ºC)

Best Years To Drink Grenache

Grenache has a good aging potential and it really depends on where it comes from and the producer as well. The style of the wine is important too. A single varietal will definitely have a shorter aging potential than a blend from Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC. A good Grenache will age from five to ten years. Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC will age well for 20+ so don’t hesitate leaving it in a good, cool cellar and forgetting about it for twenty years. 

Grenache Average Prices

There are a lot of different Grenache wines from around the world, so we will note ranges of prices for those regions. 

Priorat wines go from 13$ up to 900$, however there are a lot of them priced about $50. Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC can be found at a price of 30$ but some of them go up to 1500$ as well. Côtes-du-Rhône Village AOC ranges from 15$ to 150$. 

Grenache Nutrition Facts

There are about 125 calories in a glass of Grenache, with about 4 grams of carbohydrates to follow. A bottle has about 750 calories and 24g of carbohydrates

Fun Facts About Grenache

Some bottles of Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC are sold for about 2000$. 

Chateau Rayas is the only producer from Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC that makes 100% Grenache, even though the appellation allows 13 different varietals.