Food & Drink » Winesipper

Gravitating to Grenache


Looking for a red wine to go with your turkey-centric Thanksgiving Day meal? What you want is something fruit forward with good structure and balanced acidity. You'll want to avoid wines with heavier tannins, like Cabernet. Those are great with beef, but don't pair well with turkey. Grenache, the lead grape of most southern Rhone wines, is a great match. That region makes delicious reds but, as this tasting proved, Grenache has found a happy home in other countries, as well.

2013 Shatter Grenache, $21

What happens when California winemakers Joe Gott and Dave Phinney (of Orin Swift fame) combine their talents and tend a 60-year-old Grenache vineyard in Maury, France? The answer is this big, bold wine with bright cherry, plum and cola aromas. Sweet strawberry, raspberry and plum flavors mark the palate, with a nice kiss of chocolate on the finish.

2012 Tempus Cellars Grenache, $25

This New World Washington entry has an Old World, terroir-centered finesse and flavor. The earthy aromas are filled with dusty rose petal, cherry and a touch of cedar-laced cigar box. The palate is sleek and silky—you get creamy cherry fruit, mocha and touches of leather and anise. The oh-so-smooth finish lingers on and on.

2013 Yalumba Old Bush Vine Grenache, $19

When this Australian winery says "old," it means it, with the youngest vines for this wine coming in at 45-plus years. Some even surpass the century mark. Despite that age, fresh fruit aromas dominate the nose, along with vanilla, oak and herb. This is a well-balanced wine, offering cherry and dark berry flavors colored by anise and spice. A good value.

—David Kirkpatrick