Friday, March 26, 2010

oh my Achilles heel (Garnacha)

So everyone has something that is difficult for them. For some reason, blind-tasting Garnacha/Grenache is tough for me... I know Sebastian keeps reminding me to "look for the white pepper", but let's face it - it's not always there.

Grenache is a very widely planted grape - well known for spicy, fruit flavors, low tannins & high alcohol. It is also, I just learnt, often blended up to 80% into my wife's favorite wines; Chateau-neuf-du-Pape.

Lots to learn my friends.


clear visual:
  • moderate garnet centre
  • slight cherry rim suggesting little or no age (2007-08)
  • moderate legs = moderate alcohol (12%?)

clean nose; moderate+ intense notes of

  • Old World funky leather
  • red fruit/berries
  • fungal/mushroom
  • white pepper
  • some sort of funky vegetal

clean palate; 0 dryness, moderate++ acid, moderate+ tannin, moderately intense flavors

  • chalk
  • leather
  • red fruit/berries
  • young black fruit

moderate body, moderate alcohol (my guess was 12-13% but it was 14.5%), good structure

2007 Las Rocas, Garnacha, de San Alejandro (Spain) **very good value @ $20**



clear visual;

  • pale garnet centre
  • light cherry rim (indicating little or no age: 2008 or younger)
  • strong legs (indicating high alcohol of 13.5% or higher)

clean nose; moderate+ intense aroma of

  • white pepper (yes Sebastian I get it)
  • funky leather (Spanish kegs)
  • red berries
  • hot alcohol
  • light rosey floral

clean palate; 0 dryness, moderate++ acid, moderate+ tannin, moderate+ intense flavors of

  • plums
  • white pepper
  • floral
  • chalk terroir
  • red berries

moderate body, full alcohol (14.5%), excellent structure

2008 Tres Ojos, Garnacha, Calatayad (Spain) **BUY THIS @ $15**

So maybe I understand a bit better now... Garnacha is high in acid, low in tannin, stupidly high in alcohol (like a Zinfindel). Aromas of white pepper & red berries, flavors of the schistous soil & that oh-so-funky Spanish casking system of theirs. Big frikin wines & Lord knows I love a glass of this!

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