Supple, soft, sensual, subtle and smooth. In the wine world, these terms are often reserved for that exclusive and expensive grape; Pinot Noir.
Notoriously difficult to grow, ripening too early for warm climates and exposed to too much rain in cooler climates. But then, that’s also the brilliance of Burgundy because when it’s right, it can be an example of terroir that is rarely seen elsewhere. These coveted “S Words” are certainly earned.
This, however, is not a blog about Pinot Noir or “S Words” for that matter.
This is a blog about that always underappreciated grape that can also be described using these words; Grenache or Garnacha. Where Pinot Noir finds it difficult to prosper, Garnacha can thrive in hot and arid conditions. Like Pinot Noir, Garnacha has low tannin allowing for our favourite S words. Unlike Pinot Noir, however, Garnacha is high in alcohol combining power with finesse. The tasting experience becomes reminiscent in a fun and interesting way that is sure to delight.
I have decided that in this month’s Wineport subscription Box of Wine I will be including two, that’s right TWO, Garnacha based wines from the North East of Spain! You may be asking yourself “Is it not odd to include two wines of the same grape variety in the box?” Honestly, it’s not something I would normally do but Garnacha, wrongly, gets a bad rap and in this country when it comes to Spanish wines, Tempranillo is king.
As Garnacha fell out of favour to Tempranillo and more international grape varieties, many vineyards were abandoned. Thankfully, a new wave of winemakers, using modern and sustainable methods, have seen the promise in old vine Garnacha that has brought about a renaissance within the wine world while resurrecting vineyards where the grape originated.
This is my ode to Garnacha.