Have you heard of Grenache? If not, you’ll be hearing a lot more in future. Often referred to as the unsung hero of the wine world, it’s a grape variety that has not received its due. In early June I attended the world’s first symposium dedicated exclusively to Grenache. Read on for Reva Singh’s Editor’s Note and subscribe to the latest issue of Sommelier India WINE Magazine.
The crème de la crème of the international wine world gathered for two days of discussions, presentations and tastings at Domaine De La Verrierre, producers of award-winning Chêne Bleu wines, in the small village of Crestet, which is situated high in the Dentelles de Montmirail region of the Southern Rhône Valley. About an hour and a half away from Marseilles by car, the area is picture-book pretty and the weather was glorious. The wines – 100% varietal or a blend of over 65% Grenache – made a heady combination.
Grenache is a very versatile grape and is produced in a variety of styles. Perhaps it’s best known to Indians as a rosé from the South of Frnace. Garnacha, its Spanish avatar, is Spain’s most common red grape, producing rich, spicy reds from mature vines in the northern part of the country. If you are a wine novice, Grenache is the ideal red wine to get you going, with its supple tannins, silky texture, and pleasing aroma and flavour profile of red and dark fruit.
Turning to this issue of the magazine, read about another superb example of a particular region and grape varietal – “steep slope” Rieslings from the Mosel region of Germany, which is the subject of our lead feature on page 20. This, too, is a grape variety not so well known or commonly consumed in India. However, with some excellent examples coming into the country from producers such as Schloss Vollrads, St. Urbans-Hof, Ernst Loosen, Ulrich Langguth and Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt, you have no excuse to remain uninformed.
With many other articles to read and wines to try, I’ll you to uncork the rest of the issue yourself. When picking wines from our award-winning list on page 50, remember these ratings are not absolute, but pertain to particular bottles tasted at a particular time in a particular category by some of the best palates in the country. Beyond this you must form your own opinion, and the more wine you taste, the better judge you’ll be.