Fiery Spanish Grenache!

“Garnacha is a fighter, a battler,” the highly regarded winemaker Alvaro Palacios once explained to be as he hiked like mules through his precipitous L’Ermita vineyard in Spain’s Priorat. “I love working with this grape because it has personality and character,” he said.

A battler with personality, but also generous, flavorful, fleshy, jammy, robust, versatile, willing to play with others: these are the characteristics that define Grenache — or whatever name you want to call it. In Spain it is called Garnacha, in Sardinia it is Cannonau, and in certain corners of the wine world, Alicante.

Varietal Grenache wines are, generally speaking, robust and rich in color, with aromas of roasted black fruits, molten chocolate and pepper. Then there’s the magical new experience: Garnacha Blanca.

For wine lovers who enjoy discovering new little treasures that excite the palate, as Garnacha Blanca in Terra Alta does.

In most of Spaint, Garnacha is used as a blending grape. The heady, potentially impressive wines of Priorat rely on old-vine Garnacha to soften and sweeten the tough, tannic Carignan that also comprises most Priorat blends. In Rioja, Garnacha is used to make Tempranillo more open and friendly. Garnacha is also frequently used in rosado wines, where it yields rosy-colored dry quaffer that some might call quintessential Rosé. But in Terra Alta they stand beautifully on their own.

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About the Contributor

Frank Pagliaro

Frank Pagliaro

Frank Pagliaro has been a Wilmington wine merchant since 1986 – Frank’s Union Wine Mart. He is the Team Host & Chief Wino of the FranksWine.com Marathon Team which gets fellow winos and runners together to train for a yearly Fall Marathon while raising money for children’s charities.

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