Monday, September 01, 2014

A gaggle of Grenache.

I don't think there is an actual collective noun that is specific to a group of Grenache wines.  I just like gaggle and Grenache together, although bevy (as in quail), or bouquet (as in pheasants) might be more appropriate.  But I digress.
Vinomaker has been on a bit of a Grenache binge of late.  He has been promised some Grenache grapes this year and so, seeing as he has never made this particular wine varietal before, he has been out on a Grenache investigative-shopping spree (mostly Napa and Sonoma iterations).  Consequently, we both have been, and will be, tasting a fair amount of this wine varietal (whose grape is a native of the Rhône Valley) in order to get a little better acquainted with Californian-style Grenache. 
The Frith, 2012 Grenache Napa Valley, was an early standout for me; light to medium bodied, lots of raspberry (Vinomaker got strawberry), candied-cherry, a hint of spiciness and rather food friendly.  Sigh, unfortunately, in my estimation it had a tad too much oak.  Otherwise, the Frith was an intriguing little wine.
Most of the wines in Vinomaker's Grenache collection are blends containing Syrah and Mouvedre (GSMs).  But one, the Mathis, 2012 Grenache Sonoma Valley, contains Petite Sirah, Carignane and even a little Alicante Bouschet (a tinturier variety).  If I deem any of the other wines in the gaggle blog-worthy I'll more than likely post about them right here. 
At this rate, I may tire of Grenache before the next International Grenache Day, which is slated for September 19th, rolls around.  We'll see.

15 comments:

Thomas said...

OK. You can sample a lot of California Grenache in California, and we know the grape's Rhonal prowess, but please, to round out your sampling, do not forget to try some Garnacha wines of Calatayud, Carinena and Campo de Borja, as well as the Cannonau di Sardegna.

I believe it is the most widely planted red grape in the world?

Thud said...

A GARGLE?

Dennis Tsiorbas said...

VG: Funny that in the next day or two I'll be posting this: Clos de Gilroy Monterey County 2013 Grenache (Bonny Doon Vineyard):-)

Dennis Tsiorbas said...

Finally got to the Bonny Doon: not a bad red, but no comparison with the Tuck Beckstoffer Melée (95 % Grenache).

Thomas said...

Dennis: grenache is good only when it is good.

You may quote me...

Dennis Tsiorbas said...

Thomas: You've got me meditating!

Vinogirl said...

Tomasso: I know, and you have mentioned the Cannonau di Sardegna to me previously, but two things;
1. European wines are not that easy to find on the west coast.
2. Vinomaker will be making a California-style Grenache, not a Sardinian one.

Thud: Brilliant!

NHW: Great minds think alike?

Thomas said...

VG:

Sorry you can't find those wines on the Left Coast. Contact WineExpo down in southern CA. Ask for Roberto.

I believe it's always good for a winemaker to have as wide a benchmark experience as possible--besides, it's fun.

Vinogirl said...

Tomasso: I have had a bunch of Grenache in the past, it's just a bit hard to come by right now in Napa. Except for a wine store called 'Backroom Wines' it is almost impossible to get anything European.
Do you buy from Roberto at WineExpo? I generally don't buy wine online, but I'm willing to see what they have.

Thomas said...

VG:

Wine Expo is a bricks and mortar store in Santa Monica.

I've known Roberto for a number of years. He is an Italophile, so the Italian selection is fabulous. But they have a great deal of other things to offer.

He stays away from the brand name game, seeks the outlier wines...and his attitude is fun.

Tell him I recommended--not that it will get you anything special.

(310) 828-4428

Vinogirl said...

Tomasso: Do you get commission?
Had a quick look at their website. I see that Cannonau is a Sardinian clone of Grenache, interesting.
I probably could find some interesting wines in the East Bay, or San Francisco, but I often don't have time to travel to buy wine.

Thomas said...

VG:

Grenache may have been brought to Italy by Saracens...then again, maybe not. I get a commission only after I can prove which it was.

Vinogirl said...

Tomasso: They used them as table grapes then?

Marcia Macomber said...

Saracens, Thomas? Wow! Good luck proving that provenance!

As to Thomas' suggestion to sample more European Grenaches, indeed Back Room Wines does have a good selection, and you can find more 10 minutes away at Sonoma's Best. Tom Jenkins is a fan and maintains a plentiful supply there too.

Vinogirl said...

Marcia: Thank you for the Sonoma's Best tip :)