It's International Grenache Day on Friday 18th September and an opportunity to open some delicious Grenache wines!
Grenache Noir is a versatile grape variety which can adapt to a range of soils and growing conditions. It is known as Grenache in France and most widely planted in the south, particularly in the Rhône Valley and is the base of most of the red blends in Côtes du Rhône wines.
Otherwise it's known as Garnacha in Spain and is now grown all over the world. It is also used for many rosé blends in the Southern Rhône too.
Grenache Blanc is also a popular white variety in the Southern Rhône found in many of the white blends, and Grenache Gris is also popular in blends in the the Southern French wine regions.
This Friday to celebrate Grenache Day I'm going to be opening a selection of wines from Rhône producer Cellier des Dauphins.
Cellier des Dauphins is based in Tulette in the Drôme in the stunning Southern Rhône Valley. It was established in 1965, and is also known as the Union des Vignerons des Côtes du Rhône. It is the leading producer of AOC Côtes du Rhône wines with over 12,500 hectares under vine and 2,300 winegrowing families as members of the co-operative.
Cellier des Dauphins make wines from across the Southern Rhône as AOC Côtes du Rhone, AOC Côtes du Rhône Villages, AOC Côtes du Rhône single village wines such as Plan de Dieu and Puyméras and the top level AOC Cru des Côtes du Rhône such as Vinsobres, Cairanne and Châteauneuf du Pape, under the expert guidance of Chief Winemaker Laurent Paré who joined Cellier des Dauphins in 2018.
The majority of Cellier des Dauphins wines are Grenache based blends.
Laurent gave me the following update on the harvest recently:
This year’s harvest is looking very healthy with the Grenache grapes showing great potential. We were lucky to have some rain recently (27th August) to allow the red grapes to complete their maturation. The 2020 harvest has been one of the earliest for us and we started harvesting Grenache about 2 weeks ago for our Rosé wines and we will be harvesting this week for the red wines. What I love about Grenache is that it’s a varietal that makes us wait for it to achieve the right ripeness!
We will no doubt be harvesting the Grenache grapes on International Grenache day!
Les Dauphins Côtes du Rhône White - 70% Grenache Blanc, 30% Viognier - a delicious white Rhône which is exceptionally good value. Currently on offer from Tesco for just £6.50 (normally £8.00)
Cellier des Dauphins Val Soléu Rosé - 80% Grenache, 20% Cinsault - a brand new rosé launched earlier this year from the Drôme Provençal region.
Cellier des Dauphins Réserve Côtes du Rhône Red - 80% Grenache, 20% Syrah - another new wines from Cellier des Dauphins, their Réserve range offers more complexity and a more gastronomic style of wine.
If you are looking for some other delicious Grenache blends for International Grenache Day this Friday then try their Les Dauphins Côtes du Rhône red (also on offer at Tesco) or their Les Dauphins Côtes du Rhône Villages at Waitrose.
Happy Grenache Drinking!