JUST THE FACTS
Price: R99.00 (as of Jan 2017)
Winery: Domaine Grier
Varietal: Grenache Noir
Wine Region: Roussillon
Ponce Factor: Med-high
Occasion: When you’re looking to expand your horizons on a budget
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If you read nothing else
French terroir. Spanish grape. South African winemakers. Whether you enjoy the wine or not, the narrative is fascinating.
Colour is medium intensity ruby. Aromas of red berries, and some herbal notes.
On the palate: spicy rocket leaves, black pepper & cranberries.
Acidity is well integrated, mouthfeel is soft but not without lingering spice to add intrigue.
A tour of the world in one bottle
Aside from expanding your wine horizons, this bottle is a great conversation starter on account of just how many places, people and philosophies that went into making it. If you can’t hit on at least one topic of mutual interest between you and your date, perhaps
you should call it a night. Or engage in activities that don’t require coherence or intelligence. Like ruling the free world, apparently.
But back the wine; there’s loads to talk about here because there is loads going on both inside and outside the bottle. Here are just a few starters:
Grenache is Garnaxa:
Grenache is not a french grape, despite sounding ever so respondez-vous-si-vous-plait. It’s actually Spanish (with some of the best Garnacha Tinta’s coming from the region of Priorat). It loves hot mediterranean climates, which is also why South Africa produces such lovely fruit-forward New World examples of the grape in our own warmer climates.
Grier is Villiera:
Originally from Stellenbosch, the Grier family are better known for their local estate, Villiera, which makes some decent MCCs from time to time (though their Monro bordeaux blend is well worth seeking out). The family bought a vineyard in the South of France’s Roullisson region and teamed up with local winemaker, Raphael Graugnard, to produce a range of wines, including a few Syrah-based blends, a brut (obviously), & a chardonnay.
France is cool:
Not Miles Davis cool, but rather climatically cool. So even though the Languedoc Roussillon region is considered to be France’s hottest wine growing region, it is still relatively cool when compared with Spain’s Priorat, or South Africa’s Swartland.
The cooler French climate means fruit has to work harder to ripen fully, which oft leads to more subdued fruit elements, and more spicy, herbal & tobacco notes.
About the Author
Jono Le Feuvre is not a bean counter. He is a bean roaster. Bean roasters carry far more street cred & get to speak at bizarre niche gatherings of enquiring-but-unhinged-minds. They also usually have addictive tendencies. When he is not roasting beans he is pulling corks. Or deftly removing screwcap enclosures. But you can read more about him here.