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The Garnacha Tinta Grape


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About Garnacha Tinta

(Synonyms: Abundante, Alicante, Aragones, Bernacha Negra, Bois Jaune, Cannonao, Cannonau, Catalunya, Cranaxia, Garnaxa, Gironet, Granache, Granaxa, Granaxia,Grenache, Grenache Crni, Grenache Noir, Licante, LLadoner, Redondal, Ranaccio, Roussillon, Sans Pareil, Tai Rosso, Tinto Basso, Tocai Rosso, Vernaccia Nero, Vrannaxia)

Background

Map showing lands under the Crown of Aragon

Garnacha Tinta (usually just called Garnacha) is a red-wine grape originating in the Aragon region of northern Spain; from there, it was early on spread through the regions under the Aragonese realm, including southern France, whence it spread widely. Today, the grape—known by a plethora of names, but most commonly as either Garnacha (the name we use here) or Grenache—is extensively grown more or less throughout the wine-making world; Spain and France remain the chief suppliers, but the U.S. and Australia have growing reputations for the grape.

Curiously, it is only in modern times that Garnacha has climbed out of the status of a mediocre workhorse grape to that which it enjoys today, that of an eminent varietal. Garnacha can be bottled as a monovarietal, but in the Old World (as is of often the case) it is most used as an element of regional blends. In Spain, it is often blended with Tempranillo; in France, it is a key part of Rhône red blends.

Garnacha by nature is low in phenolics, and so tends toward lightness of color and body and low tannins. As usually vinified, a monovarietal Garnacha will be intended for early consumption, as it has a distinct tendency toward early oxidization. But when grown and vinified with suitable care, it can produce dense, chewy, powerful wines that will indeed cellar well.

The typical flavors of Garnachas are red fruit (strawberry/raspberry), tending in better specimens toward darker fruit (black cherry, blackcurrant) and complex overtones, often described as coffee, olive, honey, leather, tar, spice, and black pepper. In essence, there is a rather broad spectrum of wines, from simple early-drinkers to ageworthy and complex champions. Some remarkable quality-for-price bargains are readily available, especially from Spain.

Factoid: Garnacha has several related mutant grapes, some of which are valuable in their own right, including inter alia Grenache Blanc, Grenache Rose, and Grenache Gris; it is also a parent (with Cabernet Sauvignon) of the modern cross Marselan.

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Some Descriptions of Garnacha Wines

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Some Garnachas to Try

(About this list.)

Bernabeleva “Navaherreros” Garnacha
(This is not the same as their “Camino de Navaherreros” bottling.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Ver Sacrum Garnacha

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Casa Castillo “El Molar” Tinto

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Bodegas Breca Garnacha “Old Vines”
(They bottle several Garnachas: this is not the Fuego or the Oronta.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Bodegas Borsao “Tres Picos” Garnacha
(Borsao bottles other Garnachas: this is the “Tres Picos” bottling.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks

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For a Splurge

Our nomination is the Alto Moncayo Garnacha; it is one of three Garnacha bottlings from Alto Moncayo, so take care. This is not either the “Veraton” bottling nor the “Aquilon” bottling.

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker pages.
• This wine’s CellarTracker pages.
  (CellarTracker has two listings for this wine.)
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks

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This page was last modified on Thursday, 23 January 2020, at 12:54 pm Pacific Time.