On the 15th September we celebrate International Grenache Day! Many of you have entered our Australia wide celebration promoted on instagram in which yourself and a friend have been sent a bottle of our 2015 Grenache to enjoy with us in sync. Let’s make it an extravaganza of social consumption hype. Twitter, Facey, Insta- Where are you? —Who are you with?– What are you eating?….but most of all how are you feeling?
Off the cuff of this celebration day a ‘Grenache Games’ piece was published in the SA Weekend Magazine–guest writer Corrina Wright!
In the patchwork of vineyards and grape varieties covering the McLaren Vale region, there is none more beguiling than Grenache. It has been seen in many guises, from meeting the demand for fortified wines back in the late 1800’s, to being a workhorse blending variety filling the popular new school dry red wine flagons of the 1960’s. Today we can truly say that Grenache is having a renaissance, and definitely deserves another look. We have a saying locally (block your ears Pinotphiles), ‘Grenache delivers what Pinot promises!’
As a grower, Grenache tests your mantle. As one of the first varieties planted in South Australia in the 1840’s, we are lucky beneficiaries of some very old Grenache vines in McLaren Vale. Grenache is at its best when it is grown with limited access to water. With big bunches and berries, making sure that the whole bunch ripens properly is key to getting the most out of the variety. Perhaps one of the reasons that the old bush vines tend to do well, as the crop is much lower to the ground benefiting from the reflective ripening heat from the soil.
As a maker, Grenache pushes you to your limits. Maybe that is why we love it so much. Don’t tell anyone I told you, but Shiraz is pretty easy to make. Grenache needs much more attention and love throughout the winemaking process to encourage its finer more ethereal characters to blossom. A thinking winemakers wine.
For you as an imbiber, the true strength of Grenache shines brightest. With its medium body and silky texture, the mouth-watering aromatic spice, earthy notes and fleshy generosity, Grenache deserves a prime spot on your table. There are many excellent examples of Grenache coming out of McLaren Vale currently, here are a couple of 2015’s worth searching for. Ministry of Clouds McLaren Vale Grenache ($35) is has a deep core of red fruit, violets, earth and herb aromas, all entwined in with plush grainy tannins and a bright line of natural acidity. Or do yourself a favour and lash out with the much lauded Bekkers McLaren Vale Grenache ($80). Aromatic spice, decadent silky texture and plenty of density- this is a wine that makes the angels sing in your head as you drink it. Or maybe that’s just me….
See you in spirit on the 15th…..