Wines made from older vineyards showed delicacy and finesse at this month’s Which Wine tasting of Grenache Noir. Winemaking technique impressed on the day with not much talk on the grape itself.
There’s plenty of hype around the variety but are we expecting too much too soon? Some of the wines in this flight were a bit generic. Lots of cheerful fruit but very often wacked with wood, which brings a clumsiness to the end product. The stand-out wines were fine and delicate with well-defined fruit and hard to tear apart. Unfortunately, however, winemaking technique rather than a great vineyard was what the majority of these wines showed.
At a pizza joint with the right price point on the wine list, more than happy to buy. That’s not a great way to place our Grenache, but sadly some of them were one-dimensional. The well-made wine just stood out from the rest in both flights, with great fruit definitions and great tannin structure. A concern is the use of oak, which coated a lot of varietal traits. Superior wines were superior by far.
The wines were two-thirds technique, which placed emphasis on the winemaker’s ability to work around the grape. The wines that were clearly superior justified the excitement around the category itself. Placed with the line-up of wines, the superior wines unquestionably looked miles ahead of the others, leading to being over-generous on scores. But people drink wine not stars. Delicacy and complexity on point. Young vine wines at the right price definitely a great buy.
List of wines
- Momento Grenache 2014
- David and Nadia Grenache 2014
- Diemersdal Grenache 2013
- Leeuwenkuil Grenache 2015
- Oldenburg Grenache 2014
- Spice Route Grenache 2014
- Lynx Grenache 2015
- Piekenierskloof Grenache 2014
- Neil Ellis Vineyard Selection Grenache 2011
- Tierhoek Grenache 2014