Black Grenache

Definition - What does Black Grenache mean?

Black Grenache is a red wine grape variety that is originally from Northern Spain. Known and named for it’s intense dark color, Black Grenache is considered one of the most widely planted red wine varieties in dry, hot climates. Wine produced from Black Grenache has low tannins and medium acidity along with concentrated sweet flavors of red fruit and a hint of peppery spice.

WineFrog explains Black Grenache

Black Grenache is a widely planted and very popular red wine grape variety. Known to prefer hot, dry climates, as the grape ripens slowly, Black Grenache is typically one of the last grape varieties to be harvested. The long, slow ripening of the grape makes for high sugar levels at harvest and result in wines with up to 15% Alcohol by Volume (ABV). Originally from Northern Spain, the vine is widely planted throughout the Mediterranean, as well as in Australia and California, and it prefers dry, rocky soils. The vines are strong with a notoriously woody canopy that makes pruning and harvest challenging.

Often used in blends to add sweetness and body, the grape can present challenges to winemakers, as it oxidizes easily. To prevent oxidation, vintners opt for a longer and cooler fermentation and aging in oak to reduce oxidation and retain color. The oxidation in Black Grenache wines shows as a faded brick color in the glass.

The high sugar and low tannins of Black Grenache make it particularly suited for use in the production of fortified wines in which additional grape spirit is added and the wines can be aged for up to 30 years. The flavors of Black Grenache are exceptionally sweet flavors of berries, black currant and black cherry, with a pronounced spice of pepper and ginger and hints of tar and leather. Black Grenache is most often blended with Tempranillo, Syrah Carignan and Cinsaut, however, it makes up over 80% of the famous Southern Rhone wine, Chateauneuf-du-pape.

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