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International Grenache Day: top-scoring wines to try

To celebrate International Grenache Day, we highlight a selection of 95+ point wines from the Decanter World Wine Awards 2021 worth discovering...

Now in its 12th year, International Grenache Day is celebrated annually on the third Friday of September.

One of the world’s most planted grape varieties, Grenache is widely grown in southern France, Spain (where it is known as Garnacha), the United States and Australia. It ripens late, requiring warm and dry conditions to fully ripen, but is versatile both in the vineyard and winery where it is used to make red wines primarily, but sparkling, white, rosé and fortified wines, too.


Scroll down to see top-scoring wines to try this International Grenache Day


Grenache produces round, fruity, powerful wines, often described as having spicy, herbal, raspberry and black cherry characters. The most concentrated, complex, ageworthy examples tend to come from old-vine Grenache, especially from regions such as Priorat, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, McLaren Vale and Barossa Valley, home to the oldest productive Grenache vineyards in the world.

This International Grenache Day, to highlight how widespread Grenache is, we look at Decanter World Wine Awards 2021 results for insight, where award-winning Grenache and Grenache-based blends hail from across the globe, from Argentina, Chile and South Africa to Greece, Israel and Switzerland.

Tasted and rated by our expert DWWA judges, below we highlight a selection of the highest scoring, with many more to discover on the DWWA results site here.

International Grenache Day: DWWA 2021 top-scoring wines to try

Australia

Sons of Eden, Notus Grenache, Barossa Valley, South Australia 2020

Platinum, 97 points
100% Grenache
Intense nose with some bright ripe red fruits and kirsch-like notes. Rich on the palate with well-integrated alcohol, bright acidity that cuts through, plus scoops of red fruits sitting in a web of chiffon-like tannins.

Krondorf, Stone Altar Old Vine Grenache, Barossa Valley, South Australia 2018

Gold, 96 points
100% Grenache
Red fruit and herbal bouquet. Good complexity of ripe fruit and some savoury elements on the palate, along with fresh acidity and well-integrated alcohol. A moreish, savoury and refreshing style. Beautiful.

Swinney, Farvie Grenache, Frankland River, Western Australia 2019

Gold, 96 points
88% Grenache, 12% Mourvèdre
Refined, complex and crammed with juicy, super-pure, intricate layers of pristine red fruits and a plethora of spices. Not at all reliant on its buoyant fruit, keep this as it will be a stunner.

Chile

Ventisquero, Grey Glacier Garnacha-Cariñena-Mataro, Apalta, Colchagua 2019

Gold, 96 points
58% Garnacha, 27% Cariñena, 15% Mataro
Bright generous ripe plum, red cherry and raspberry fruit aromas with pungent herbal notes. Dense with very fine tannins and a spicy character on the palate.

France

François-Xavier Nicolas, Le Jardin des Papes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône 2019

Platinum, 97 points
75% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah
Enticing herbal touch on the nose, followed by red cherry, cranberry and spices. The palate is fresh and balanced, displaying fine tannins and a slight saline touch. Long finish, enjoyably structured and fragrant.

Château de Marmorières, Commanderie Saint Pierre La Garrigue, Languedoc La Clape, Languedoc-Roussillon 2019

Gold, 96 points
55% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 25% Carignan
Bilberry and cassis liqueur nose with a lovely intense pure fruit aromatic profile. Very well integrated oak flavours, subtle expression and in this case uplifts the fruit profile and gives a longer finish. A complex wine with mouth-coating bursting flavours.

Château Pesquié, Silica, Ventoux, Rhône 2019

Gold, 96 points
90% Grenache, 10% Cinsault
Powerful aromatics of ripe strawberry and a fragrant floral rose note. A delightful and characterful style. As it sits in the glass it becomes ever more engaging.

Ogier, Clos de l’Oratoire des Papes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône 2019

Gold, 96 points
80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre
Black cherry aromatics, with floral notes. Full and rich with fine fruit and texture, lovely tannins. Long and focused, a very drinkable and elegant wine.

Cazes, Les Clos de Paulilles, Collioure, Languedoc-Roussillon 2019

Gold, 95 points
60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre
Opulent aromas of kirsch, deep cherry and plum lead through to a palate of garrigue, black olive, liquorice and charred blackcurrant fruit.

Château de Montfaucon, Baron Louis, Lirac, Rhône 2017

Gold, 95 points
60% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Cinsault
Opulent ripe fruit, cassis, black cherry and blackberry, vanilla, toast and smoke, the palate is soft, fresh, with great acidity and balance. Harmonious wine.

Domaine Tour Saint Michel, Cuvée du Lion, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône 2019

Gold, 95 points
75% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre
Refined and complex with floral notes, lots of spice and red fruits aromas. Elegant texture with creamy richness and a mouth-coating fruit and flavour.

Spain

Pago Aylés, Cuesta del Herrero, Aylés 2020

Best in Show, 97 points
50% Garnacha, 30% Tempranillo, 12% Merlot
There is yet more impressive Iberian Best In Show value from this Pago wine, the first in Aragon: Ayles, sited near Zaragoza. It’s a young blend of Garnacha and Tempranillo with a little Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, and stood out for successive panels of judges thanks to its generosity, poise and charm. Dark black-red in colour, its sweet, pure black-cherry and plum fruits waft alluringly from the glass. The concentration is remarkable for this price bracket, and the combination of indigenous varieties with a seasoning of Bordeaux favourites brings the wine a complexity which almost comes as a surprise after its aromatic sweetness. It’s a wine from evidently propitious vineyards — about which we will surely hear more in future.

Capçanes, Cabrida Garnatxa Negra, Montsant 2018

Gold, 95 points
100% Garnacha
Floral and ripe red fruit nose. Really soft and rich on the palate, quite velvet-textured and pure. This is subtle and very stylish, multi-layered and generous, with excellent length.

Samsara, Priorat, Spain, 2017

Gold, 95 points
50% Grenache, 35% Carignan, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon
A lovely combination of red and black fruits; feels very layered and dense. Blackcurrant, plum, blueberry. Lovely, silky texture; hefty but somehow still light with a long finish. Very well made.


Related articles:

McLaren Vale Grenache: 20 top wines to try

Dark rosé wines for late summer drinking – 12 to try

Decanter World Wine Awards 2021: Results revealed


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