SOURCE: Cotes du Rhone Wine Council

December 20, 2007 14:07 ET

Grenache Steps Out of the Shadows

The Accessible, Fruit-Forward Côtes du Rhône Varietal Takes Center Stage

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - December 20, 2007) - While it's no secret that the Rhône Valley is the source of some of the world's finest Syrah-based wines, many American consumers may be less aware that the Côtes du Rhône's most-grown grape varietal is not the oft-mentioned Syrah, but rather Grenache, a grape highly valued by winemakers for its soft, fruity and round profile. Syrah and Grenache work together to create well-balanced wines with the latter's abundant fruit and elegant structure balancing the bold tannins and spice of the former.

Andre Compeyre, director of wine & service for the LHLM Group, which owns and operates renowned chef Anthony Bourdain's Brasserie Les Halles, is a strong proponent of Southern Rhône Grenache wines. "I love Grenache and its fruit flavors of prune, fig and wild berries, which can also appear earthy with notes of cacao," he shared. "When handled well and in the appropriate terroir, like the Côtes du Rhône, one discovers a wine that is rich and powerful, but also balanced, complex and fresh."

ASPIRING AFICIONADO? ANSWER THESE AND SEE...

1. Which grape is the most widely planted varietal in the Côtes du Rhône appellation with 65% of the surface area?

2. Which grape variety makes up at least 40% of Côtes du Rhône appellation wines and 50% of Côtes du Rhône Villages appellation wines?

3. Which grape variety was originally grown in Spain and introduced to France during the 13th Century?

4. Which grape variety's sweet berry qualities provide the backbone for the world-renowned rosés from Tavel?

5. Which grape variety gives wines that are an ideal food-pairing partner with a wide and diverse array of dishes?

ANSWER TO ALL OF THE ABOVE: GRENACHE!

Grenache is also very food friendly, pairing well with dishes spanning a wide spectrum, from fatty salmon, grilled tuna or lobster to grilled lamb, steak and pork chops -- another reason it's a varietal not to miss. With a history of great winemaking and a host of devotees within the wine world already in its corner, Grenache's status alongside other celebrated Rhône varietals is firmly secure, but its popularity and presence in the United States is about to reach the next level.

For more information about the Côtes du Rhône, please log on to www.CotesduRhone.us.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    Inter-Rhône c/o Sopexa USA
    Louise Jordan DWS
    Email Contact
    JoLynn Howe
    Email Contact
    Tel: (212) 477-9800 x 114 / x103