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Grenache, Actually

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We were at a tasting the other day, talking to an eminent Master of Wine who said, 'So often, Grenache delivers so much more than Pinot Noir! How often does Pinot Noir disappoint? Modern-day Grenache can be fresh, inviting and warm'.

We couldn't agree more. 

Red Grenache (or Garnacha, in Spanish-speaking regions) used to be the most widely-planted grape in the world, and its cultivation is still widespread in Spain and, particularly, the South of France, where it is perhaps best-known as a major constituent of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Its willingness to grow under difficult conditions - it doesn't mind heat, drought and relatively poor soil - and reputation as a very obliging ripener consolidated its position as the go-to grape of the south. Most frequently used in blends, it will be familiar to many as one-third of the extremely popular 'GSM' (Grenache-Syrah-Mourvèdre), as well as a happy partner to the Carignan grape.

Grenache's ubiquity has, of course, led to the production of a considerable amount of tediously ordinary wine. But, in the right hands, its bumptious fruitiness and grippy tannins can be transformed into something extraordinarily alluring and elegant.

Grenache Rouge's siblings, Blanc and Gris, are - pleasingly - increasingly visible nowadays, providing some extremely delicious and drinkable whites and rosés which are often wonderfully food-friendly.

As we love the wines of the Sud de France, we have a stellar selection of Grenaches (red, white and rosé), both single-grape varieties and blends. We also have some rather special sweet wines (known as Rivesaltes), the famous vins doux naturels of the Roussillon. 

Come on in, the Grenache is lovely.