The International Wine Review is passionate about Grenache, and we join others in celebrating International Grenache Day on the 3rd Friday of September. Over the years, we have prepared three major reports on Grenache focused on the growing importance of this variety and the emergence of high quality, Grenache-based wines in wine-growing regions around the world. While Grenache has remained a workhorse grape in some areas, it has steadily improved thanks to new talented winemakers and growers. In each report we recommend the many exciting Grenache wines being produced by both small and large producers.
With our celebration of International Grenache Day, we are offering readers a FREE copy of our most recent report on The Revival of Garnacha in Spain. If you are interested, go to www.i-winereview.com and sign up for the IWR newsletter, and we will send it to you. Other reports are available for $25 on www.i-winereview.com
In the 2021 we published The Revival of Garnacha in Spain, which offers an in-depth examination of the history of Grenache and its role in the development of the Spanish wine industry. Until recently, Garnacha was Spain’s dominant red grape variety with some 70 percent of total plantings. However, since the middle of the last century, Garnacha has lost favor in Spain. Changing consumer tastes favoring darker and more age worthy wines have given preference to Tempranillo, which has been highly successful in both the domestic and international markets. Meanwhile, Garnacha has too often been a work horse grape for wines of low value sold in bulk. Notwithstanding the decline in Garnacha plantings, many growers and talented winemakers throughout Spain have remained loyal to Garnacha and have improved the quality of their wines as well as developed new styles, all of which are contributing to a revival of interest and respect for the grape. Our tastings of more than 200 wines reveal there are many superb premium wines of Garnacha on the market today from the Sierra de Gredos, Aragon, Priorat and Catalonia that generate enthusiasm among wine aficionados. Consumers have become more open to a variety of wine styles. A wine no long needs to be dark and highly extracted to be appreciated. As we discovered in our tastings, there are a variety of styles of premium Garnacha and Garnacha blends that are both enjoyable to drink and very reasonably priced.
In our 2017 report The World of Grenache, we observed that Grenache is undergoing a significant transformation in several regions of the world, including Australia, California, Washington State, the Southern Rhone, and, of course, Spain. Growers and winemakers around the world are taking a new look at the grape, and many are producing outstanding Grenache-based blends and ultra-premium single varietal wines. Exciting old vine Grenache wines are also being crafted from revitalized vineyards in many parts of the world.
In our 2006 report titled Grenache, we noted that this variety is not well known to most wine enthusiasts, despite its widespread plantings. We examined the challenges of growing Grenache and making the wine. We also reviewed over 300 single varietal and Grenache blends, identifying a cadre of producers at the top of their game, including producers like Chateau Rayas in Châteauneuf du Pape, Clos Erasmus in Priorat, Clarendon Hills in Australia, Saxum and Tablas Creek in Paso Robles, and Betz in Washington State.