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Barossa and McLaren Vale Grenache: old vines, new passion

Once lost in Australia’s cheap red blends, Grenache is finally being recognised as a premium varietal wine – particularly from its ancient vines, many well over 130 years old. David Sly looks at the history of Barossa and McLaren Vale Grenache and recommends 20 top examples to try.

When Argentina’s Alejandro Bulgheroni came to Australia and purchased a significant Barossa vineyard in 2015, it wasn’t the Shiraz that grabbed his attention. The flagship wine for his Alkina Wine Estate is Grenache.

Grenache is in high demand among leading winemakers in Australia, especially from bush vines dotted through McLaren Vale and the Barossa. These create a spectrum of wines: from intense, concentrated beasts designed for decades of cellaring, to slender, nuanced reds akin to Pinot Noir as well as intriguingly spicy styles designed to drink fresh.

The Barossa and McLaren Vale Grenache revolution has been a long time coming – the oldest vines producing fruit are 174 years old – but excitement is now leaping out of the glass.


Scroll down for tasting notes and scores of 20 exciting Barossa and McLaren Vale Grenache wines



Barossa and McLaren Vale Grenache: 20 top wines to try


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