Is Grenache all things to all people? Like Pinot Noir it offers attractive berry characters. Like Merlot it drinks alone or plumps out the fruit in more tannic blends (with Syrah in Southern France, Tempranillo in Spain). Yet like Cabernet or Shiraz it can also have real density, as in Spain’s Priorat or the world’s most famous Grenache-dominant wine, Chateauneuf-du-Pape. It even makes delicious, delicate Rosé. A full-bodied, sun-loving grape, Grenache spread from Spain to Southern France. It is thin-skinned and late-ripening, so can underwhelm if grown in cool climates or over-produced, lacking structure, complexity and body. But in the world’s hottest regions it makes immensely soft, rich wines and is especially reliable in variants of the classic Chateauneuf blend - Grenache followed by Shiraz/Syrah and Mourvèdre, et al - called GSM in Australia.
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