Australia has been making blends of the southern Rhône varieties of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre for generations. Over the decades, growers and makers evolved a sumptuous and profoundly ripened expression of this blend, typically from Australia’s warmer regions and more specifically from South Australia’s Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale. Yet Grenache remains something of an enigma in Australian wine.
Led by David Powell who was inspired by the more complex and savoury red wines of the Rhône, several Barossa makers took the Australian variant of this blend down an entirely new direction around twenty years ago. Seeking gentler textures, more perfume and reductive, charcuterie-like complexity, these makers began to craft the wines that today are still considered at the cutting edge of Australia’s ‘GSM’ blends. Today this blend has even ventured into several cooler regions.
In a tasting that explores the role of Grenache with other red varieties and illustrates the evolution of its blending in Australia with Shiraz and Mourvèdre, Jeremy Oliver introduces a combination of cutting edge and classic Australian wines, each with a point of difference and a story to tell.