If I were writing a quick review of Grenache a few years ago, it would have probably said only two things. First it would have said that Grenache was the most widely planted grape in the world with a large percentage of the plantings being in Spain with a smaller amount in France. Secondly I would have pointed out that wine being produced from the grape was second rate.

While the first part is still true, the second could not be further from the truth. A group of maverick vintners from California nicknamed the Rhone Rangers have typified the point. At one point Rhone varietals such as Grenache and Syrah were almost extinct in California, but this small group of producers, for all intensive purposes, saved the grape.

The results have been outstanding. California’s Rhone Rangers now produce a range of Grenache and Grenache based blends which are incredible wines, especially for their lower average cost.

When looking into your first Grenache or blend, Grenache is best when blended with Syrah and Mouvedre. Grenache does not possess as much of a flavor profile, but a feel in your mouth. It gives a well rounded well and pairs extremely well with food. When added to Syrah which imparts a spicy character and Mouvedre which adds a gravity or complexity to the wine, the results are truly outstanding.