The Best Grenache Wines | Wine Enthusiast
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Grenache Is Ready for Its Main-Character Moment

In the red wine grape canon, Cabernets, Syrahs and Pinots often steal the spotlight—and for good reason. They yield complex and layered wines, and there’s a long history of vintners who have perfected working with the varietals. But they have some competition: Grenache.

Known for its light- to medium-bodied expression, Grenache has long been a versatile workhorse in blends. “It tends to be that beautiful ethereal backdrop that does a really good job at highlighting its team members,” says Anna-Christina Cabrales, Director of Tasting at Wine Enthusiast. Among them? Syrah, Mourvèdre and Carignan. But the red grape—originally from the part of Europe that is now eastern Spain and southern France—is poised to steal the show. 

Winemakers are revisiting the varietal’s role as a blend component. Climate change has upended what’s expected from the grape, which is gaining more body and structure as the weather warms. Now, the grape is yielding top-quality single-varietal bottles.

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“It’s a juicy varietal, especially when it’s by itself,” Cabrales says. “It feels silky on the palate and presents a pop of high-toned red fruit that always makes my eyes perk up—it’s just so good!” Beaujolais fans, especially, will enjoy Grenache, she adds.

In the spirit of embracing Grenache’s new potential, our tasting team pulled together 14 exceptional Grenache bottles—both blends and single-varietal offerings—from wineries in California, Washington, France and Spain. 

Vignobles Mayard 2020 Le Hurlevent Red (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)

Delectable aromas of perfectly ripe strawberries sit atop a layer of fresh garrigue on the nose. The palate intrigues with its sandy texture, making way for layers of pomegranate seeds, black olive and stone. Hard to resist now with a perfect pairing such as herb-roasted lamb. 95 points. — Anna-Christina Cabrales

$90 Delicious Wine

Clos Bellane 2018 Urgonien Red (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)

This sophisticated expression is compelling now with each sip. Dark fruits like blackberries, blueberries and herbal tones fuel the nose, while stewed mulberries and raspberries coat the palate. Mouthquenching acidity and rustic tannins draw out a long, velvety and seductive finish. 90 points. Editor’s Choice. — A.C.

$54.97 Wine Chateau

Kaleidos 2021 Osiris Grenache (Paso Robles)

Dark plum, violet, lavender and cola aromas show on the nose of this Grenache-based blend, which also includes 4% Petite Sirah and 2% Mourvèdre. The palate is expressive and layered, combining boysenberry, lavender and a pinch of white peppercorn into a seamless display. 94 points. — Matt Kettmann

$50 Kaleidos Wine

Bodegas Valdemar 2019 La Gargantilla Garnacha (Rioja)

This dark-ruby-colored wine has a nose of cassis, chocolate-covered espresso bean and caramel. It opens on the taste buds with dark-chocolate and caramel flavors wrapped in muscular tannins that are rapidly joined by brilliant acidity and pomegranate, blackberry and orange-zest flavors. The enduring finish is marked with notes of both dark chocolate and cedar block. 94 points. — Mike DeSimone

$56.99 Yiannis Wine

Samsara 2021 Spear Vineyard Grenache (Sta. Rita Hills)

Dried cherry, tarry asphalt and singed leather aromas make for a very earthy style of Grenache on the nose of this single-vineyard expression. The palate is wildly complex, offering tight flavors of cranberry and red plum with ample white peppercorn and singed thyme elements adding elegance. 94 points. — M.K.

$59 Samsara Wine Co.

Cirillo 2022 The Vincent Centenarian Vine Grenache (Barossa Valley)

Stewards of the oldest Grenache vines on the planet, Cirillo makes The Vincent from vines 50 years older (planted in 1901 and 1906) than its ancestors. Enticing aromas of strawberry and raspberry notes mingle with vanilla bean and subtle clove and cinnamon notes on the nose. The palate is succulent and silky, with bright acidity and supple, fine tannins supporting the primary fruit. 93 points. — Christina Pickard

$24.95 The Woodland Hills Wine Co.

Zaca Mesa 2020 Amphora Grenache (Santa Ynez Valley)

It’s not clear exactly what amphora will do for wine, but in this case, the wine shows ample fruit balanced by persistent earth tones. Aromas of candied cherry, red apple, rosewater and cinnamon stick lead into a snappy palate of raspberry, rose and sumac, with a tinge of herbs on the back end. 93 points. Editor’s Choice. — M.K.

$65 Zaca Mesa

Enodav 2021 Carthage Vineyard Grenache (Yakima Valley)

Enodav’s single vineyard Grenache is a doozy. Its blackberry and blueberry aromas are accented by sweet wisps of hyacinth and honeycomb. The wine’s acidity, fruit, alcohol and tannins are in balance, with flavors of blackberry, bacon fat, saline, warm corn tortillas and cedar. What’s not to love? 93 points. Editor’s Choice. — Michael Alberty

$35 Enodav

Domaine Chante Cigale 2020 Pi Grenache (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)

The freshness and verve are immediate, along with harmonious aromas of bramble, rose petals, white peppercorn and warm baking spices melding in the glass. The palate is abundantly dark and juicy with round drying tannins that remain long on the palate. An incredible wine. 95 points. — A.C.

$78 Tasting House

Domaine Santa Duc 2020 La Crau Ouest Grenache (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)

Complex, this generous expression has concentrated aromas of strawberry, cranberry and a hum of black fruit framed by wild mint. Mouthwatering and uplifting acidity highlights a stony layer, followed by blackberries and plums. Initially linear, this full-bodied wine explodes with grace and purity, and round tannins that support its long pithy and saline finish. 95 points. Cellar Selection. — A.C.

$149.99 The Cellar d’Or

Jacuzzi 2021 Giocondo J. Poppe Vineyard Grenache (Los Carneros)

With the balance of a top Chianti Classico, this appetizing, grippy wine is lip-smacking fun to drink and will wash down the richest risotto or lasagna. Vivid acidity and moderate tannins do a great job of supporting the black pepper and sour-cherry flavors. 92 points. — Jim Gordon

$45 Jacuzzi Family Vineyards

Tardieu-Laurent 2020 Vieilles Vignes Red (Gigondas)

This old-vine Gigondas tantalizes the nose with heady aromas of red cherries and rosehip, which are elegantly framed by a touch of clove. The palate is rich and wound with plenty of energy in the midpalate that presents concentrated red cherries, strawberries, cassis, violets and green peppercorn. Generous and textured with persistent tannins that should integrate seamlessly after cellaring well through 2030 and beyond. 95 points. Cellar Selection. — A.C.

$47 Princeton Corkscrew

Pierre Amadieu 2019 Romane Machotte Red (Gigondas)

Opulent garnet in color, this wine captivates from the first whiff of vibrant black fruit, red licorice and bouquet garni, which harmoniously grow in the glass. It is full bodied and delivers an elegant, restrained palate, balanced with gritty tannins. A bit quiet now, this wine should unfold with an additional 5+ years in the cellar. 93 points. — A.C.

$29.99 Binny’s Beverage Depot

Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils 2020 Réserve Des 2 Frères Red (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)

Vibrant aromas of black cherries, wild strawberries, cassis, fresh mint and rosemary linger on the nose. Cedarwood and thyme notes emerge with further aeration. The palate is juicy with lush waves of blackberries, blueberries, light baking spice and clove. Rustic tannins frame the fruit beautifully and should further integrate from additional cellaring well through 2035+. 95 points. Cellar Selection. — A.C.

$110 Empire State of Wine
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