About The Pack
Grenache is currently experiencing a golden era in Australia.
A truckload of Australian producers are finally giving the variety its due. From the sandy soils of McLaren Vale and the ancient plantings in the Barossa, some true stunning examples of Grenache are emerging.
Here are six of our current favourites that typify the quality that can currently be found if you know where to look.
2018 Swinney Frankland River Grenache
This is quite possibly the best Grenache growing in Western Australia at the moment.
These bush vines growing in Frankland River are not yet 20 years old, but the quality of fruit they are producing is exceptional.
You could put that down to a few factors. First, Lee Haselgrove, Swinney viticulturalist, is one of the most respected grape-growers in the country so the vines are in very safe hands. Second, the vines sit atop ironstone gravel hill tops, where a unique, ferrous character and serious intensity are passed to the fruit. Third, the wine is made by Rob Mann, a sixth-generation winemaker who's name is synonymous WA wine. It's a winning recipe.
The reviews have been exceptional. It's a Grenache that is both powerful and svelte. It's a wine that will surprise and delight in the glass.Read more about 2018 Swinney Frankland River Grenache
2018 Aphelion The Confluence Grenache
Crafting McLaren Vale Grenache is the main game for Rob Mack and Louise Rhodes at Aphelion. It's a game they are very skilled at. Every egg a bird, as they say.
Sourced predominantly from gnarly, 80-year-old bush vines rooted in the sandy soils of Blewitt Springs, this fresh and vital version of Grenache is set decidedly to a "Drink-Me-Now" tempo. It's the composite blend of the three Aphelion Grenaches, combining both the 100% whole berry and 100% whole bunch wines into one seamless wine.
There's tension and beauty in this release, which is to say, it's McLaren Vale Grenache at its most irresistible. The 2018 gave Rob fruit with high toned aromatics and silky texture. It's right on the money as a modern example of McLaren Vale Grenache.Read more about 2018 Aphelion The Confluence Grenache
2018 Head Red GSM
Made by the formidable Alex Head from a barrel declassification of some of his best wines, the Grenache fruit comes from several vineyards planted in the Barossa as far back as 160 years ago.
The varieties are all fermented separately, Alex looking for greater definition in each portion of the wine before blending the final product.
In this compact, delightful little wine you reap the benefits of decades worth of viticulture and a master craftsman winemaker. For the price, there are few wines in the Barossa that can hold a candle to this little number.
A brilliant value and very versatile modern Australian red wine.
TROPHY - Best Blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre - 2019 Barossa Wine ShowRead more about 2018 Head Red GSM
2018 Bondar Wines Junto GSM
In only a few short vintages this dynamic couple have carved out a niche for their eponymous label as one of the most exciting and in demand wineries in McLaren Vale.
Drinkability is writ large across the range. The 'Junto' (Spanish for 'together') is a wine made for easily enjoying with friends and family. The 2018 may be the best release of this wine to date.
The Grenache component a much less than in previous years (70%), the power of the 2018 vintage bringing a richer, more silky wine to bottle on release. This is as delicious as medium-bodied reds get from this part of the world.
Incredibly versatile and impossibly more-ish, Andre and Selina have done it again.Read more about 2018 Bondar Wines Junto GSM
2018 Cirillo Vincent Grenache
The Cirillo Vincent Grenache lays claim year after year to be one of the country's best value Grenache, and the 2018 release is no exception.
Marco Cirillo's family lays claim to the world's oldest Grenache vines, the most ancient of them dating back to 1850. The Vincent is the baby of the bunch made from a blend of 80, 90 and 100-year-old vine material.
Vincent is a charismatic character, just like his maker. It bucks the trend of big, sweet, oaky Barossa Grenache and sits firmly in the bright, cheery and gluggable camp. A portion of whole bunches give it a lifted perfume and silky texture, while the use of older French oak and stainless steel ensure this is a lot brighter and bouncier than many of its Barossa counterparts.
96 points - "This is truly exceptional." - Nick Stock (jamessuckling.com)Read more about 2018 Cirillo Vincent Grenache
2018 Yangarra Estate Noir
This top value red is just the latest step on winemaker Peter Fraser's march towards recreating his own McLaren Vale examples of the famous bends of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Here old vine Grenache combines with Mourvèdre, Shiraz, Cinsaut, Carignan, and a splash of Counoise into a lighter styled playful red that has more under the hood than meets the eye.
In this blend you see the perfect mix of seriousness and playfulness - it's light and crunchy on one hand, it's precise and impeccably well built on the other.
For the dollars, it's one of the most interesting and satisfying reds in the region at the moment and a super-versatile red for any occasion.Read more about 2018 Yangarra Estate Noir