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28 April 2022

Grenache: white rosé and red.

Lo Cometa Garnatxa Blanca 2020 Terra Alta, Catalunya (organic, 13.5% abv): Which is Catalan for Grenache blanc, this unusual full-bodied dry white is more about flavour and texture than aroma. Subtle honeyed notes with yeast-lees, white peach and pears edged with aniseed and blanched nuts; quite powerful while juicy and concentrated with lingering mineral freshness. £7.25 The Wine Society (out of stock, wait for the 2021), €6-€7 Germany (Lidl has some 2019 left), Netherlands €9.

Corbières Le Blanc Paysan Cave de Castelmaure 2020 (mostly Grenache blanc with Macabeu and/or Vermentino according to vintage, 13.5% abv): also now out of stock at the Wine Society (£7.50 on offer) so probably not worth going on about it too much! This progressive co-op winery makes consistently enjoyable wines of all colours, and once again this white was something a little different mixing appealing aromas, rounded mouth-feel and freshness. The 2021 shouldn't disappoint when available. About €7-€8 France, Belgium and Portugal; R$155 Brazil.

Côtes du Roussillon Héritage Rouge Château de Corneilla 2019 (13.5% abv): This time a 'traditional' blend (whatever that really means) of Grenache noir, Syrah and Carignan, showing ripe dark berry and cherry fruit, maturing earthy edges and dry but textured tannins. £8.95 Wine Society (2019 now sold out!), €9.50 cellar door.

New! Vacqueyras 2020 (organic, 14.5% abv): This sumptuous southern Rhône Valley red is dear for Lidl (£12.99 UK) but doesn't disappoint. Probably mostly made from Grenache noir (as usual, it's hard to find any useful details about their wines) due to its typical lovely floral peppery kirsch aromas and flavours with fairly smooth tannins, although the darkish colour and black cherry notes suggest some Syrah in the blend; ripe dark-fruited palate with earthy edges, some grip and punchy powerful finish. Tried and tested with Italian sausage-filled pasta topped with red peppers, onions, garlic and pesto. Discovered in May 2022.

D'Arenberg The Stump Jump 2018 Grenache Mourvèdre Shiraz, McLaren Vale South Australia (14.5% abv): Delicious stonking red with ripe dark berry fruits, wild earthy savoury edges, liquorice and peppery spices, soft-ish and mature palate yet with punchy finish. Try with Chinese duck. £9.25 the Wine Society and various independent merchants (£10-£12). Enjoyed in May 2022.

Have also still been enjoying the Viña Zorzal Garnacha Rosado 2020 from Navarra, Spain, although it's out of stock until the 2021 vintage arrives.

Several more recently enjoyed Grenache-centred pinks (2021s and 2020s) are here: Serious Rosé.
Including another tasty Côtes du Roussillon: Mas Cristine 2021 rosé (13.5% abv) made from Grenache and Syrah, which was fairly pale (relatively speaking) compared to a more 'classic' regional style like Collioure or Rasiguères, although deceptively full-bodied yet surprisingly crisp at the same time. Aromatic rose petal, yeast-lees and cranberry, zingy refreshing finish with lingering crunchy red fruits and a little palate weight too. €9 cellar door; UK £12.99 De Burgh Wine Merchants. There's more about Roussillon rosés and Mas Cristine in, you've guessed it, my book!

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