The Grenache Identity


Grenache is one of those under-the-radar, intriguing varietals.  Like Jason Bourne (of the Bourne Identity book/movie series) Grenache is known by different aliases.  In Spain, its country of origin, it is called Garnacha or Garnatxa; in France, it goes by Roussillon and of course Grenache- the French-given name used by most of the world.  Grenache, and its multiple aliases, is one of the most widely-planted varietals in the world.  Adding to the intrigue is the fact that Grenache is one of the few varietals that have both a red and white version.  Generally associated with Spain, Australia, and the south of France, Grenache has really taken off in the United States, particularly in the warmer wine growing regions.  It is an extremely versatile varietal- as you would expect from one with so many identities- you might see it as a bright, fruity rose’ or a full-flavored, complex dessert wine and anything in-between.

At Naggiar, we grow both red and white Grenache, and it is one of our more prolific grape producers.  We have 4 blocks of Grenache on the property, spread throughout the estate, each of a different age, with multiple clones on different rootstocks-talk about multiple identities!  Our Grenache is typically harvested at the beginning of harvest for our rose’ program and in some years, to start up our “yeast starter” with the bulk of it coming in the middle of harvest.  Within that harvest, we have 6-7 picks to accommodate all the variables and styles we are looking for at Naggiar Vineyards.  If we are using the Grenache for our rose’, we will ferment it like a white and if it is going into one of our blends or to make our varietal Grenache, it will be aged in a combination of oak and stainless steel.

Tis the season for eating and Grenache is a great food wine, with characteristics of strawberries, cherries, raspberries and watermelon, but with very little tannin.  Naggiar Grenache has many identities-  along with our varietal Grenache, we use it in our rose’, Syrah, Reserve Syrah, and Le Grande Pere.  While the opulent berry profile and soft tannins make it a natural fit for summertime fare, it also pairs well with lamb and- wait for it- oven-roasted turkey!  And, for those who have hopped on the deep-fried turkey bandwagon, the bright acidity and fruit in these wines will help cut through the oil between each luscious bite.

So how about making the Grenache Identity part of your holiday meal?  Right now, we are having a fantastic holiday promotion- buy one case at your regular discount and get a second identical case at 50% off for wine club members or 25% off for non-members.

Sounds like the makings of a happy Thanksgiving to me!



About dwdirwin

Wife of Naggiar Vineyards winemaker Derek Irwin, mother to 4 active kids and one dog and newbie blogger!
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