Grenache has long been a workhorse grape for Australia, used for crafting everything from cheap bubbly and rosé to red table wines (both single-varietal and blended) and port. The warm South Australian regions of McLaren Vale and Barossa have long been the heartlands of grenache. What has changed is the way grenache red wines are made. Big helpings of oak, tannin and alcohol are today being shunned by a legion of young winemakers keen to produce delicious, soft, lighter-bodied, "smashable" red wines for today's "drink now and don't worry about tomorrow" market. Here are three of them.
Schwarz Wine Co. Thiele Road Grenache 2017, Barossa Valley $45
Grenache is sometimes nicknamed the pinot of the Barossa, and this is a fine example. Jason Schwarz has made a lighter-bodied, lighter-coloured grenache with perfumed foresty, pot-pourri complexities. It's succulent and soft, light to medium-bodied and the tannins are mild and supple. Screw-cap; 14.3 per cent alcohol.
Ageing? Drink now to eight years.
Stockists include Olinda Cellars (Vic); Summer Hill Wine Shop (NSW); winegoblet.com.au
Aphelion The Confluence Grenache 2018, McLaren Vale $35
Rob Mack is a Young Gun of Wine winner whose array of beautifully silky, finely textured reds are deliciously drinkable young. He's among the young brigade helping reinvent grenache. Sweetly aromatic cherry, spice fruit; silken textured with great charm and poise. Lovely now but I'd lay money it'll also age well. Screw-cap; 14.3 per cent alcohol.
Ageing? Drink now to 14 years.
Stockists include Blackhearts & Sparrows (Vic); Five Way Cellars, Paddington (NSW).
Zonte's Footstep Love Symbol Grenache 2017, McLaren Vale $27.50
This one has a deep colour and is medium to full-bodied, with plenty of depth and tannins that are ample but velvet-soft. Smoky, savoury aromas include pepper and other spices while generous black-fruit flavours back up strongly on palate. Intense and penetrating, with a long-lasting finish. Screw-cap; 14.5 per cent alcohol.
Ageing? Drink now to 13 years.
Stockists include Melbourne Wine Store & Mount Martha IGA (Vic); Chambers Liquor, Sydney.