Wine Lists

Six great Australian grenache wines to try

By Tony Love

11 Sep, 2020

Grenache is finding a home – and fans – right around the country. Halliday tasting team member Tony Love selects six standout styles.

Five bottles of top Australian grenache1. 2018 Sons of Eden Kennedy Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre

A 46/36/18 GSM blend from a range of Barossa subdistricts, the grenache from vines aged between 45 and 100-plus years. It has genuine Barossa tones to it, a sunny ripeness that exudes compote plum and anise aromas, while the palate is delightfully medium to fuller framed, yet fleshy with a delicious balance of savoury and fruit characters.

RRP $29 | Sons of Eden

2. 2018 Pepperjack Grenache

A blend from McLaren Vale and Barossa that nails the aromatics in the orange peel/sour cherry spectrum, spilling into the drinking with a subtle orange bitters note as well. Quite a rich brew, fleshy and sassy with softish, earthy tannins. Works a grill room with ease.

RRP $25 | Pepperjack

3. S.C. Pannell Smart Grenache

Definite evidence that grenache is a great translator of terroir, this from the cooler Clarendon district of McLaren Vale, old bush vines with extended ripening encouraging amazing fragrance of crushed red and blue fruits and florals (violets) permeating the wine until the end. Glorious drinking with attractive individuality.

RRP $60 | S.C. Pannell

4. 2018 Moppity Vineyards Grenache Shiraz

A 60/40 blend from the Hilltops region of NSW, estate fruit from the district of Young. A cooler-climate styling with typical lift of crimson berries, florals and spice, this Canberra Region trophy winner has deeper layers built into it – a note of anise, and some slightly meaty notes that give this a superb savoury and gastronomic edge.

RRP $30 | Moppity

5. 2019 Chalk Hill Tempranillo Grenache

While the label suggests this is tempranillo-led, it is, in fact, more than 50 per cent grenache, which lifts the perfume into a more varietal mode, pretty florals and spices to the fore. This blend with tempranillo is gaining some traction and offers a more earthy, savoury style, chosen by winemaker Renae Hirsch to stand apart from the usual GSM crowd.

RRP $28 | Chalk Hill

6. 2018 De Bortoli Grenache Wizardry

This red delight reflects the name with some magic in its makeup, dark cherry aromatics to start, with ripe, but not jammy, flavours as you sip in medium to fuller-bodied juicy fruits off-setting a fine, sandy tannin feel. There’s a lot going on for the price – look out for specials and keep an eye on it as the styling unfolds over the next few years.

RRP $25 | De Bortoli

Tony Love is a South Australia-based wine writer and journalist on the Halliday Wine Companion tasting team.

This extract originally appeared as part of the feature “The crowd pleaser” in issue #54 of Halliday magazine.