Grenache by any other name...
Wines made from identical grapes can often taste different, subtly if the wines come from different parts of the same vineyard or profoundly if they come from different parts of the world. Here are six different wines made from a single variety of grape: if the wine is French, the grape is Grenache; if the wine is Spanish, it’s Garnacha; if the wine is Sardinian, it's Cannonau di Sardegna. And it’s winemaker’s choice what to call it in US.
Newfound, Gravels Grenache 2018
Jancis Robinson - Wine of the Week
"Newfound Gravels Grenache does an excellent job of offering a delicious reminder of why it’s worth finding those precious vineyard sites that suit the variety. It’s a mouth-watering wine that’s also chiselled and has great structure. There is beautiful perfume of spice and savoury herbs, some bramble and an emerging floral note. The tannin is just tactile enough to remind you the wine will do well with food as well as a bit of age, and it carries with it a long, juicy finish. It’s simply a pleasure to drink and a good example of why Grenache has been such an important variety for the state. Put simply, in the right sites it’s exciting."
Region: California Country: USA
Antonella Corda, Cannonau di Sardegna 2019
Jancis Robinson - Wine of the Week
"Aged in deliberately untoasted barrels.
Pale ruby. Gorgeously sweet, fresh nose of unadulterated Grenache/Garnacha. Beautiful balance and freshness with some rose-petal aromas and a little saline bite on the end with a light suggestion of some fine sandy tannin. (Off to the beach then?) This definitely belongs in the group of the most-winning examples of this grape. So gentle, refreshing and, despite the alcohol, pure and ethereal. 17.5/20 points."
Region: Sardegna Country: Italy
Marques de Grinon, El Rincon Garnacha Tintorera Roble 2015
91 points James Suckling
"Super attractive pepper-dusted violets and dark cherry fruits with a rich palate that has keenly articulated tannins."
Region: Madrid Country: Spain
Michel Gassier, Cercius Rouge 2016
93 points Jeb Dunnuck
"A Grenache-dominated blend that includes 13% Syrah and 12% Mourvèdre, the 2016 Côtes du Rhône Cercius is one big, mouthful of a wine that gives up huge notes of blackberries, peppery, roasted herbs and violets, Voluptuous, opulent and sexy, with no hard edge, sweet tannin, and a huge finish, it's a terrific wine."
Region: Rhone Country: France
Evodia, Old Vine Grenache 2019
90+ points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"The 2019 Evodia is pure Garnacha from old head-pruned vines in the Sierra Santa Cruz in Calatayud. It fermented with around 20% full clusters in concrete and matured mostly in concrete with just 20% of the blend put in used oak barrels for three months. There is a component that matured in concrete egg that I was able to taste separately that seems to bring a touch of freshness to the final blend, something welcomed in a warm year like 2019, which seems like a fresher version of 2017, when the wines achieved quite good ripeness. The nose opens up nicely in the glass and is quite aromatic and floral, exuberant, with a heady touch of ripe fruit. It's young and tasty, tender and pleasant to drink, with a forward personality. A real bargain. I hope there are more wines like this in Aragon, where the wealth of Garnacha vineyards would make it possible quite easily."
Region: Calatayud Country: Spain
Domaine Lafage, Cuvee Nicolas Vieilles Vignes 2015
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"Made from 100% Grenache, the 2015 Cotes Catalanes Nicolas comes from granite and schist soils in the Roussillon and is brought up in demi-muids and barrels. This sensational wine is unquestionably one of the best values I've tasted in a long, long time. Blueberries, kirsch, chocolate and garrigue all emerge from this full-bodied, sexy, polished beauty that offers tons of fruit and texture while never seeming over the top or cumbersome. Buy a case, pretend you spent a lot more money than you actually did, and drink this knock-out red over..."
Region: Languedoc-Roussillon Country: France