The leaves are starting to transition to the yellows and oranges of autumn, and cooling temperature means it’s time to start reaching for red wines again. While we think they should be enjoyed all year, there’s no denying nothing quite pairs with a crisp fall day like a glass of red, especially if it’s a glass of Grenache.
This grape is produced all over the world. It’s the leading red in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, yet its origins are in Spain where it’s called Garnacha. But no matter where it’s produced, when you grab a bottle of Grenache you can expect a wine with moderate acidity and full of ripe fruit flavors like deep raspberry or strawberry. So from Spain, France, Australia, South Africa and the U.S., here are some of our favorite bottles to start the fall off right.
Domaine du Pegau 2015 Cuvée Réservée (Châteauneuf-du-Pape); $110, 96 points. Savory notes of bramble, smoke and leather juxtapose forward plum, cherry and strawberry in this full-bodied wine. It’s a penetrating, mouthfilling sip that lingers on the palate, finishing on soft, furry tannins. Approachable already, this concentrated wine should improve through 2025 and hold further. Hand Picked Selections. Editors’ Choice. —Anna Lee C. Iijima
Koehler 2015 Grenache (Santa Ynez Valley); $35, 94 points. Rather light in color, this bottling shows candied-cherry, alpine strawberry, sumac, rose-petal and baking-spice aromas on the fresh nose. The palate offers red plum, star anise and allspice flavors, proving pleasantly light, refreshing and extremely layered. —Matt Kettmann
Paxton 2016 Grenache (McLaren Vale); $35, 92 points. This is a heady and complex Grenache from a single block of bush vines. The nose offers a potpourri of dried flowers, red berries and cranberries backed by a meaty, earthy core. The palate is tightly structured, with sandy yet silky tannins and a long, savory finish. Drink now–2030. Little Peacock Imports. —Christina Pickard
Turkey Flat 2016 Grenache (Barossa Valley); $36, 92 points. This is a pretty, lifted, light- to medium-bodied style that erupts with aromas of ripe cherries, baking spices, red licorice and rose petals. The palate is juicy in feel, with tight-grained tannins and a long, savory finish. American Estates Wines, Inc. —C.P.
Momento 2015 Grenache (Swartland); $40, 91 points. A lovely note of mint chocolate rides atop the core of ripe wild berries and cherry in the nose and mouth of this attractive wine. It boasts a medium body and satiny texture, with ample structure and acidity for overall balance. The fruit-forward palate is accented by herbal, earthy hints, finishing with a flourish of baking spice. Drink now–2023. Broadbent Selections, Inc. —Lauren Buzzeo
Château Maucoil 2015 1895 Grenache (Côtes du Rhône Villages); $28, 90 points. Plump, sun-kissed blackberry and dried-strawberry flavors abound in this deeply fruity, forward Grenache. Full bodied and plush on the palate, it’s lifted by savory hints of bramble and spice as well as firm, finely edged tannins that grip on the finish. Drink now–2021. T. Edward Wines Ltd. —A.L.C.I.
Dusty Nabor 2016 Paper Plane Grenache (Paso Robles); $40, 90 points. Concentrated aromas of boysenberry and black cherry meet with hints of game, jerky and cola on the nose of this bottling. Fairly ripe and rich blackberry-sauce flavors are lifted by anise on the palate, which is framed by balanced acid and tannins and makes for a fairly easy-drinking wine. —M.K.
Alto Moncayo 2014 Garnacha (Campo de Borja); $45, 90 points. A heavy application of charred oak might be too much for some, but if that’s to your liking then you should enjoy this Garnacha’s smoky, spicy nose. A stout, full-bodied palate is full of resiny oak with a balance of acid. Saturated, woody flavors of roasted berry fruits finish toasty and resiny. Drink through 2020. Jorge Ordóñez Selections. —Michael Schachner
Alleromb 2015 Corfu Crossing Vineyard Grenache (Columbia Valley); $65, 90 points. This wine hails from a vineyard on the Royal Slope. Light in color, the aromas are light and elusive, with notes of cigar box, white pepper and spice. The palate is transparent in style, with elegant strawberry flavors. One wants more aromatically, but the palate delivers. —Sean P. Sullivan
Artadi 2013 Pasos de San Martín Garnacha (Navarra); $38, 89 points. This spicy, fiery smelling Garnacha shows bright plum and berry aromas. In the mouth, this is tough and tannic, with raw acidity and a mild burn. Dark, spicy berry flavors are blackened, while this tastes peppery and feels hot on the finish. Folio Fine Wine Partners. —M.S.
Bodegas Paniza 2016 Garnacha (Cariñena); $13, 87 points. Red-berry aromas are basic but fresh, with minimal concentration. A plump juicy palate ranks as healthy, while raspberry and red-plum flavors are not too serious or intense. A fresh steady finish wraps up this pulpy Garnacha. Vinaio Imports. —M.S.
Published: September 21, 2018