Region: Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia
Price: around $15-$20
I’m dating a girl who is nice enough to eat my cooking on a regular basis which allows me to try more recipes than I normally would, I’m not a fan of cooking for myself. Case in point last weekend, I made some pork piccatas, a very easy way to cook pork, veal or chicken just with some garlic, lemon juice and white wine. I kinda decided on the recipe at the last minute so I had to make do with whatever wine I had available. It had been a long time since I had some Grenache so the decision was somewhat easy.
Grenache is an international grape originating from Spain and that I mostly know from its Southern France examples. It’s a red grape, very light in color (often used for rose wine) with pepper and red fruits aromas. It’s often used in blends with Syrah and Mouvedre because Grenache by itself lacks color, acidity and tannins. This particular wine comes from Australia, the Barossa Valley is probably the top wine region in South Australia (and maybe of all Australia) and is especially known for its Shiraz wines. So basically, what I’m saying is that I had no idea what to expect.
Eye: Clear, Deep garnet, very dark for a Grenache
Nose: Clean, medium plus intensity, very earthy nose with thyme notes. Red fruits, strawberries and some leather notes.
Palate: dry, medium-minus body, medium minus acidity, round and low intensity tannins. Medium plus finish (red plum). Aromas of pepper, herbs (thyme), red fruits (strawberry and raspberry).
Food pairings: I made pork piccatas with simple cherry tomatoes pasta. The wine won’t be able to cut the fatness of heavy creamy dishes but it will work well with most meats.
Overall opinion: I had a hard time re-conciliating what I knew about Grenache and what was in my glass. The color was, well unexpected, so dark, maybe from wood ageing? Tannins and acidity were on the lower side, as expected from the varietal and there was an interesting range of aromas from fruity to earthy. To me it feels like an outlier but I don’t have an extensive knowledge of Aussie wines. I definitely enjoyed it though. Maybe it’s not the Grenache Australia deserves but it’s the one it needs right now?