Saturday, September 29, 2007

I Am a Grenache Lover

With Lyle Fass proclaiming himself a Grenache hater, what better way to kick off this blog than with a defense of Grenache?

Granted, Lyle says that "there are certain wines I am thinking about as a Grenache hater," specifically overcooked Robert Parkerized tete de cuvees from Chateauneuf, but I love the Rhône Grenache blends in part because the majority of them are not like this.

The basic 2005 CDR from Domaine Chaume-Arnaud that I brought to Shawn and Kyle's last night will serve as Exhibit A. This vibrant, fresh, medium bodied red jogs easily past the finish line, with pepper and wild herbs rooster-tailing in its wake (Cinsault (10%) and Syrah (30%) join Grenache in the blend). The raspberry fruit had just the right touch, neither sweet nor fat.

It was, in short, a vigorous wine, an alive wine, a balanced wine, but one modest enough to be simply enjoyable.

The Chaume-Arnaud family raised this wine in organic soils, harvested the grapes by hand, and let the juice spend 8 months in stainless steel and cement — no oak. And bad dollar and all, we got to experience this love for a mere $15 retail.

An organically grown, lovingly raised, very affordable wine of character... What's not to love?


Lyle Fass said...

Grenache is better in CDR, Cairanne, Gigondas and CDRV , , ,all day and every day. CDP has had its time in the sun and that sun is getting too hot!

Wicker Parker said...

Thanks for posting the first comment, Lyle!

I will admit to having limited experience with CDP due to budget and perceived value issues, but do you find Sabon and VT to be overcooked, too? Well, I will open them in 10 years and find out.

But anyway... Grenache... Grenache! A feral Gigondas excites me more than any other Southern Rhone wine; and I have fallen hard for wines from Sablet and Cairanne, among other villages.

I have never been enthused by a Vacqueyras or a Lirac, though. Every one I've tried has been rather club-footed.

§kyye said...

Just some random commentary from a fellow blogger/blog surfer...

So, let me get this straight ~ you enjoy gourmet food and wine, travel, cooking, literature, writing about it all, AND aviation comedy? ARE YOU TRYING TO SEDUCE ME??? :)

Your only flaw that I can see is your lack of affinity for seafood! ;)

Marcus said...

I think the Sonic Youth inclusion on your profile bears mentioning...

You know there is a new theory involving rock music and perception of wine so it's time the art-rock no-wave wine lovers stand up to be counted.