In the fashionable world of wine, grenache has been a major player since the 1800s when James Busby
arrived in Australia with the first grape cuttings but it’s not that you would know it, as the variety is one of Australia’s
unsung heroes. Grenache (or garancha as it’s know in Spain, its ancestral home) is finally finding its renaissance as a straight varietal and as a blend. It’s a long-time inclusion in many of the world’s celebrated wines, particularly those of the Southern Rhone Valley blends, where you can find expensive opulent wines in the famous Chateauneuf-du-Pape region, along with cheaper quaffers labelled ‘Cotes du Rhone’. This once-maligned workhorse variety is
once again finding favour with consumers and being recognised for the velvety, seductive, voluptuous mouthfeel that is the world’s fourth most widely planted red grape. The importance of grenache
has often been forgotten as it hides away in blends. Grenache is long-lived (it has more old vines than any other variety), it loves heat and is best dry grown without irrigation, making it economical to farm, and adapts best to small production. It’s one of the few grapes whose future looks good in a world of global warming.What does it taste like? Grenache is an expressive variety capable of producing a range of different wine styles, ranging from fragrant
rosés to full-bodied reds, either as savoury or perfumed wines. The flavour moves through a wide spectrum, including strawberry,raspberry and cherry through to jams, spice, fresh and dry herbs, powerfully-spicy characters to roasted vegetables and earthy tones such as soil, blood and hung meat. Its tannins are so soft and its glycerol is high, both contributing to its slurpy, swiggable mouthfeel. So get on board with groovy Grenache – it’s a winner.
Margot Muir, cellar manager
We were happy to have our 20 year old ‘Banished’ Fortified Grenache under the Edinburgh Cellars spotlight.
Oliver’s Taranga Vineyards
The Banished Fortified Grenache Aged 20 Years 500ml McLaren Vale $36
With an average age of 20 years, this beautifully fortified grenache is cellared in a solera of ancient cognac barrels.
Nutty rancio characters with balanced sweetness, luscious palate of rich caramel, dried apricots, orange peel and tea
flavours. An Australian classic. Mood match: Why leave fortified wine as the after-dinner option? It may seem somewhat decadent but what a lovely way to complete a lazy Sunday brunch of Croque Monsieur or Madame.
Maybe a tipple in the afternoon with Aunty Von and her just baked rich chocolate fudge brownies!