The Playbook For The Modern Man

The Best Australian Grenache, According To People Who Drink It For A Living

Like your wine “complex with layers of dusty rose petals”? Or are you more of a “put your pinky down and turn your glass horizontal” type guy? Check this guide to see which Grenache is right for you.

With origins in both France and Spain, Grenache is best known in Australia as part of a blended trio with Shiraz and Mourvedre (quite full bodied reds). But as of late, Grenache is starting to break out and go solo with some (oh so) ‘tasteful’ single varietals.

These have been dubbed, ‘warm climate pinot’, making for the perfect summer wine.

Whether these ‘gentler’ varietals (which lack acid, tannin and color) are your cup of… vino… or whether you’re after a more classic Grenache, blended with Syrah, Carignan, Tempranillo, or Cinsaut, we asked a group of Australia’s top sommeliers to give us their picks for the best Grenache wines in Australia, across the board.

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This is what they came up with.

Route du Bonheur Grenache

Vintage: 2016

Picked by: Mark Willoughby, head honcho at Esoterica Wine & Food.

Mark’s two cents: Run by a husband and wife, in their house over looking the St Vincent Gulf in McLaren Vale, Route du Bonheur is a small, homely label. Wonderful people, beautiful location, rich and generous wine. Not to be confused with the Shiraz Grenache (which is cheaper and also very good), this wine is made from old bush vines planted in 1964, a speciality of the region.

Many will love the Shiraz from the region, but it is for Grenache that the region truly raises its head above the crowd. A wine that offers all the bells and whistles, a little wow factor, but mostly it’s like sitting in an old leather chair…a little refined, but mostly just comfortable and embracing. An after lunch Christmas special.

Buy @ The Wine Emporium $29

S.C. Pannell Grenache

Vintage: 2015

Picked by: Nick Stamford, Managing Director of MW Wines in Collingwood, Australia’s largest independent wine auction house.

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Nicks’s two cents: Steve Pannell is the man for this variety and this wine has all the hallmarks of great Grenache – lifted, high-tone aromatics, and spicy floral red fruits that linger on the palate. Medium bodied, it’s luscious and too easy to drink.

Buy @ MW Wines  $62

Yangarra High Sands Mc Laren Vale SA

Vintage: 2006

Picked by: Chiara Danieli, head sommelier at Matteo Downtown.

Chiara’s two cents: One of the finest vintages in recent memory of this region. 100% French old oak for 24 months, complex with layers of dusty rose petals, freshly oiled leather, cocoa powder, cassis and dark cherries. The palate is extremely layered with blueberry, dark cherries and a complexity of flavour that follows through in the rich mouth-coating palate. The tannins are velvety and voluptuous but silky.

Buy @ Wine Cave  $160 (or for a more economical option, have a squiz at the 2011 vintage, available online at Dan Murphys for $32).

Ruggabellus Timaeus, Barossa Valley

Vintage: 2014

Picked by Sean McManus, Sommelier at French restaurant Hubert and Italian restaurant Alberto, Sydney.

Sean’s two cents: I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Abel (the man behind this vintage) one night on a wet and wild windy evening in the Clare. He invited me into his barrel room just next to his beautiful house over looking his vineyard (which I could not see) in his shed pitch black with a flash light whilst we went through and tasted some 10 wines barrel by barrel, story by story…

Abel’s passion for people and winemaking was apparent. Herbs n’ spice and all things nice, this Grenache is ripping and ready to chug. Intense pepper and red fruits with lingering sweet clove and dried herbs hold the palette and declare time to put your pinky down and turn your glass horizontal. This is not atypical Grenache; this is Abel Grenache.

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Buy @ Drnks.com $50

St Hugo Grenache Shiraz Mataro

Vintage: 2013

Picked by: Luc Wiesman, founder of D’Marge and avid wine drinker.

Luc’s two cents: One to keep an eye on this summer, this award-winning Grenache Shiraz Mataro blend highlights the complexity and vibrancy of two specific Barossa Valley sites, creating what can only be described as a “party in your mouth.” Smart but not sharp; sweet yet savoury, this wine’s cherry driven up-front fruit (with with flicks of savoury spice and juicy loose knit tannin) will keep everyone from your nan to your inner city flatmates happy. 

Buy @ Dan Murphys $50 

Côté Mas Corbierès Shiraz Grenache 

Vintage: 2017

While this one isn’t technically grown in Australia, it’s definitely available to buy! So a good choice to add a bit of variety to your cellar.

Picked by: Dan Murphy’s Wine Panel.

The Wine Panel’s two cents: Generous and fruit-driven, this outstanding Languedoc Red Wine from Côté Mas offers dark berry aromas and juicy, cherry-like flavours. Enjoy this beautiful Shiraz Grenache blend now or with a couple of years’ bottle age.

“An ideal introduction to classy, modern European wine.”

Buy @ Dan Murphys  $17.99 

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Z Wines Rustica Grenache 

Vintage: 2016

“THIS is why Grenache is becoming all the rage.”

Picked by: Dan Murphy’s Wine Panel.

The Wine Panel’s two cents: The Z Wine Rustica Grenache has a vibrant purple colour with a youthful hue. A perfumed bouquet bursting with violet, crushed strawberry and raspberry aromas coupled with subtle white pepper and star anise notes making a truly intriguing and inviting Grenache wine. Ideal to consume while young.

Buy @ Dan Murphy’s $14.60

McLaren Vale ‘The Hundred’ Grenache 

Vintage: 2016

Picked by: James Halliday Australian Wine Companion.

James Halliday’s two cents: Made from 93-year-old, dry-grown bush vines, this is a stunning grenache; the perfumed bouquet shows raspberry coulis, dark plum, toasted hazelnut, game and floral characters. The palate is equally gratifying with pristine fruit flavours and rounded mouthfeel, wonderfully complemented by velvety texture and fine tannins. Flavoursome, generous and delectable. At its best: now to 2026.  

Buy @ Willunga 100 $35

Blood Brother Republic Blewitt Springs McLaren Vale Grenache 

Vintage: 2015

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One of Cellarmasters’ highest recommendations…

Picked by: Cellarmasters.

Cellarmaster’s two cents: Acclaimed winemaker, Mark Jamieson, has won many awards for his rich, flavoursome reds and it shows in this stunning McLaren Vale Grenache. Sourced entirely from dry grown vineyards in the Blewitt Springs sub-region renowned for producing world class Grenache, this exotic wine is uncompromising in its quality and is not to be missed.

Buy @ Cellarmasters  $21.25

Rey Noble Garnacha

Vintage: 2016

No Australian cellar would be complete without a touch of exoticism…

Picked by: Luc Wiesman, founder of D’Marge and avid wine drinker.

Luc’s two cents: This garnacha (grenache) shows its Spanish colours (flavours?) with a splash of tempranillo. And that’s not all the improvement the brothers at Viña Zorzal have done. To create an interesting, easy to drink wine (at an affordable price) Rey Noble have done away with the crazy-long oak ageing process, instead choosing to focus on harvesting quality grapes, picked at perfect ripeness and chaperoned into the bottle for your drinking pleasure. 

Buy @ Vino Mofo  $18

RELATED: The Best Australian Shiraz, According To People Who Drink It For A Living

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