16 Bottles of Grenache Our Executive Wine Editor Wants You to Try

This unsung grape is the key to everything from juicy, fire-up-the-grill reds to ageworthy, ambitious bottlings.

Bottles of Grenache

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis

Ah, Grenache, the wonder grape. Cabernet Sauvignon may be more famous, Pinot Noir more acclaimed, but once you get to know it, Grenache sneaks in and steals your heart. It can make wines that are as light as a feather or that are dark, powerful, and intense; it grows everywhere, effortlessly, yet only in a few places reaches its greatest heights. And for some damn reason, U.S. wine lovers still don’t know much about it. Go figure.

While the Spanish and the Italians fight over where it grew first — the first historical mentions in both places come in the late 1500s and early 1600s — the French seem to have won out in terms of the name most people know it by. In Spain, it’s Garnacha; in Sardinia, Cannonau; Abundante in some parts of Portugal; the list goes on. It plays well with others: Great Châteauneuf-du-Papes are usually blends of Grenache with other grapes; humble Côtes du Rhônes, the same.

Lately, some of the most exciting wines coming out of California, Australia, and other New World regions are made from Grenache, from excellent, quaffable, everyday reds to age-worthy, ambitious bottlings. Isn’t it time to check out the wonder grape for yourself?

6 Bottles of Old World Grenache to Try

Bottles of Grenache

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis

2021 Borsao Garnacha Selección ($11)

Year in and year out, this widely available Spanish red offers far more pleasure than its price would suggest, with juicy, bright berry flavors and a hint of fresh herbs on the finish. Pour it with a light chill on a hot day.

2019 Clos St. Antonin Côtes du Rhône ($18)

This steal of a Côtes du Rhône, loaded with black cherry fruit, aromatic mint and rosemary notes, and elegant tannins, comes from Isabelle Sabon, winemaker for Châteauneuf-du-Pape benchmark Domaine de la Janasse.

2021 Anne Pichon Sauvage Grenache Noir ($20)

French vintner Anne Pichon created this peppery, lively cuvée for New York–based wine importer T. Edward using organic grapes from the lesser-known Vaucluse section of the Rhône. It’s an absurdly good value.

2020 Anna Espelt Pla de Gates Negre ($25)

Organically farmed grapes go into this chewy red from talented winemaker Anna Espelt, who is based in the Empordà region in northeastern Spain. This wine’s flavors are all wild, tart cherries and hints of dry earth.

2020 Bodegas Frontonio Microcósmico Garnacha ($30)

Fernando Mora started off making wine in his bathtub; today, he has an actual winery, plus several acres of high-altitude, organic grapes, and makes wines like this crisp, oak-free, red-fruited Grenache.

2020 Cuevas de Arom As Ladieras Garnacha ($35)

This Spanish red—from the indefatigable Fernando Mora—uses high-elevation vineyards for a medium-bodied, crisp, and remarkably expressive red. There’s no oak here, but lots of savory tea-leaf and spice notes.

10 Bottles of New World Grenache to Try

Bottles of Grenache

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis

2020 Ver Sacrum Garnacha ($20)

Winemaker Eduardo Soler and two friends started Ver Sacrum in Argentina’s Uco Valley to focus on light, approachable wines like this almost rosé-hued Grenache. It has soft tannins and lots of wild strawberry fruit.

2018 Grounded Wine Co. Public Radio Red ($25)

Wine wunderkind Josh Phelps is the California talent behind this transparently ruby-hued, kirsch-scented, silky Grenache. A touch of Syrah (about 10%) gives it a layer of savory, peppery complexity.

2021 Tim Smith Bugalugs Grenache ($25)

Australian vintner Tim Smith chose “bugalugs,” an Aussie term of endearment for little kids, as the name for his more affordable line of reds. This juicy, peppery wine from the Barossa Valley is top among them.

2018 D’Arenberg the Derelict Vineyard Grenache ($29)

Lightly herbal and earthy, with wild-berry flavors and gripping tannins, this impressive Grenache comes from a number of small, old-vine, once-abandoned vineyards throughout Australia’s McLaren Vale.

2021 Thistledown Thorny Devil Old Vine Grenache ($30)

Masters of Wine Giles Cooke and Fergal Tynan started Thistledown specifically to focus on Grenache. The Thorny Devil is juicy and bright, with raspberry-pomegranate flavors and lots of white pepper on the end.

2020 Lindquist Family Grenache ($42)

Bob Lindquist was an early champion of Rhône varieties in California at his Qupé winery, which he left in 2019; now, he works under the Lindquist Family name. This floral, seductive red grows on you with every sip.

2019 Latta Upland Vineyard Grenache ($45)

Andrew Latta makes some of Washington state’s top Rhône-style wines, among them this Grenache. Its raspberry-cherry aroma lifts from the glass; the wine glides across your palate with blue fruit and dark chocolate notes.

2019 I. Brand & Family la Marea Besson Vineyard Old Vine Grenache ($45)

Winemaker Ian Brand sources fruit from non-irrigated vines planted in 1910 for this lovely, layered Grenache. It has a remarkable texture, somehow caressing but firm and structured all at once.

2020 Kings Carey Spear Vineyards Grenache ($45)

My notes start off, “Wow — what a seductive wine,” and that about covers it. Winemaker James Sparks uses organic grapes for a silky, raspberry-inflected red that somehow seems almost weightless.

2018 Yalumba the Tri-Centenary Ancestor Vine Grenache ($70)

Australia’s wine history goes back a long way; the gnarly Barossa bush vines that produce this Grenache were planted in 1889. It’s full of saturated red-cherry flavor, shifting into subtle spice notes.

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