The Australians embraced the varieties of France’s Rhone region generations ago, and ran with it. The country is well known for their signature Shiraz, a sister to Rhone’s Syrah, but that’s not the only red making a home for itself in the country. Grenache, Mourvedre, and Carignan also thrive in areas like Barossa, McLaren Vale, and Clare Valley.
Though often these grapes are blended, creating well known “GSM” wines, much like the Rhone, but in recent years, more and more winemakers are electing to showcase Grenache on its own. This is particularly happening with old vine Grenache from historic vineyards, some dating back to the mid-1800s.
The variety thrives in hot, arid weather, with old Bush vines protecting the fruit from sunburn, allowing easy ripening, particularly in Barossa.
Yalumba Bush Vine Grenache ($28) from Barossa showcases enjoys a similar Mediterranean climate in Southern Australia as the grace’s original home, creating ideal growing conditions for the fruit-forward variety.
From sustainability farmed vines, averaging at least 35 years, the juicy wine leaps from the glass with a noticeable amount of red fruits, enhanced by early picking of the variety, allowing red instead of black fruit notes to shine. This style has been a focus of many single variety Grenache producers throughout Australia, as the intensity of the sunshine can produce overripe, dark fruit notes, if not carefully managed. This one leads with pomegranate, raspberry, and red cherry, followed by pink peppercorns, clove, and a touch of earthiness. An easy everyday wine to enjoy with pumpkin soup, grilled beef, or salmon. #cheers