Garnacha: A Great Wine Grape!

Photo Via: Decanter.com
Photo Via: Decanter.com

Garnacha or Grenache is one of the most widely planted red wine grape varieties in the world, yet many have not heard of it! This grape ripens late and needs hot, dry conditions such as those found in Spain and California. Garnacha most likely originated in Spain, however that is still unclear. Spain however, does produce fantastic wines with this grape varietal that you will certainly want to keep your eyes on next time you’re in a wine store.

Recently it was Garnacha Day, and thanks to Snooth Media, Sommelier’s and wine journalists were picked to participate in an online tasting with Laura Maniec MS and Christy Canterbury MW. We tasted five wines from Spain that were all 100% garnacha.

img_8187Clos Dalian- This Garnacha Blanc (white) from Terra Alta is bright and mineral driven. A very creamy wine with bright floral and citrus notes, long mid-palate, and a silky finish.

2013 Viñas Del Vero, La Miranda De Secastilla- This Garnacha Blanca is from Somontano, Spain, and is very pleasant. The wine is truly elegant with bright citrus and floral aromas, yellow-green hues, and well intertwined oak. The wine saw French Oak barrels for four months before it was filtered and bottled.

If you decide to do a tasting similar to this with friends and family, I recommend using a Coravin (with cork bottles ONLY) before opening every single bottle. Why? Well, depending on how many people are in the tasting (in my case it was 5 bottles between 2 people), you don’t want to waste great wines or “over consume” alcohol. Coravin is the perfect tool that allows you to have your wine and save it for another day, month, or year, too!

2014 Castillo De Monseran- This Garnacha comes from low producing yields, which gives a very smooth and concentrated wine. This delicious red is easy drinking and fruit driven with herbal overtones, and ripe berries. The wine is soft and round on the palate, with limited extraction and tannin to enhance it’s youthful consumption. The finish lingers with red fruit.

Photo via: Foodswinesfromspain.com
Photo via: Foodswinesfromspain.com

Evodia- This Garnacha takes to it’s slate soils extremely well. It’s inky purple, boasting with purple flowers, plum, and currants, with mineral laced notes. This Eric Solomon custom cuvee is made from a high-altitude vineyard planted in schist and slate soils. The wine is elegant and has a finesse-styled effort displaying plenty of raspberry, sweet and sour cherry notes combined with a distinctive mineral notes.

Garnacha Centenaria– This wine is made with grapes from very old Garnacha vineyards planted by the traditional system from single vineyards “Monte Alto” and “La Sarda”. Aged four months in new French Oak, this wine is ruby colored with great depth and complexity. Fruity and floral with fine spice and toast notes followed by a well structured and ample finish.

If you haven’t tried Garnacha yet, I recommend heading to your local wine store and grabbing some to taste this weekend. Spanish wines are incredibly priced, quality driven, and pair beautifully with many types of cuisine. For this tasting I enjoyed a traditional NY style Pizza with these wines (because I was tasting garnacha all day), but because of the grapes versatility you really can pair so many different dishes with all of these wines.

Always remember, eat what you like and drink what you love… please pair responsibly!

Sara Lehman

About Sara Lehman

Sommelier, Private Chef, & Food and Wine Pairing Expert in NYC! Sara is a Wine Writer, Wine Ambassador, and Wine Consultant specializing in pairings, parties, entertaining and education.

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