Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Grenache, Four Ways

A few days ago, it was World Grenache Day, whatever this means. At least, Grenache is grown in many parts of the world. It is most famous as the dominant blend in Chateuneuf-du-Pape, but as a single variety, Spain would be its most famous origin.

The winery Capcanes has come up with a fascinating exercise of producing in the same manner 100% Grenache wines grown on different soils: there is sand, limestone, slate and clay. If you are skeptical about the influence of terroir, I suggest you try these four wines.
The key are the crosses at the top showing different soil types

I tried these wines over the last few days. The Grenache grown on sand was beautiful:  pretty raspberry fruit, flavoursome, but not sweet, lush, fragrant and aromatic. I had more trouble with the limestone wine. The minerality was very strong and not matched by the fruit flavours. This wine lacked some balance. The wine grown on slate was very different: dark fruit, muscular, with great intensity and a long finish. The Grenache on clay was also concentrated, but this wine lacked some definition. It was quite broad and a little fat in the mouth (like the soil is).

The outcomes were what one would expect from the soil. Was I biased? I wish I had tried these blind, but even so I am confident of my descriptions. My favourite soils were slate and sand. Clay was a little boring and the limestone soil did not seem to work with this wine.

Most wine is grown on clay and limestone, I think. Makes you wonder. 

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