«Grenache» in French or «Garnacha» in Spanish; this red grape has always played a secondary role after Syrah, in one of the most recognized French appellations worldwide: Châteauneuf-du-Pape, in the Rhone Valley in southeastern France, known for its full-bodied red wines.
This red grape develops very well in warm climates as it requires a lot of heat to ripen optimally.
It has been native to Spain for more than four centuries and it is here that it still retains its prominence in the warm Priorat region of Catalonia, in the northeast of the country and one of the most important appellations after Rioja and Ribera del Duero, where the Tempranillo grape continues to be the undisputed and most iconic queen in this country.
This red grape is characterized by low acidity, medium-low tannins and a great aromatic vigor mainly of fresh red fruits such as strawberries, plums, cherries and sometimes spices such as white pepper and licorice. It generally produces wines with a high percentage of alcohol due to their high sugar levels (which are transformed into alcohol during fermentation).
In France, for example, it is commonly blended with other Rhone varieties such as Syrah and Mourvedre (used for the famous GSM blend) to add color, acidity and tannin to the blend.
In Spain it is commonly blended with Tempranillo. In Rioja and the neighboring region of Navarra, it is used in blends to add body and fresh red fruit flavors.
Many young Grenache-based wines do not spend time in barrel, but those whose yields have been carefully controlled are often matured in barrels to add complexity of flavor and produce the best Grenache wines that, with time in bottle, can develop complex flavors of earth, caramel, dried fruits, among others.
The Grenache grape is generally used for rosé wines and blends.
In Mexico it is widely used for the production of high quality rosé wines.
In the Baja California region, due to its warm climate, it is a variety that is beginning to be experimented with more and more to produce 100% grenache red wines.
Today in Mexico, grenache or garnacha is slowly becoming more and more popular. because Mexican consumers are beginning to explore and expand their palate.
As the category of 100% grenache red wines continues to expand, it is expected that awareness of this variety in Mexico will also expand.
In any case, Grenache lovers remain faithful to it, despite the fact that in Mexico there are other varieties that are more popular, such as Nebbiolo, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Malbec, which will continue to be so for a long time to come.
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