Friday, March 20, 2009

Barnard Griffin 2007 Grenache

Last week I made some general tso pork for dinner and wanted a wine to balance the spice. A white would be the natural inclination, perhaps something in the Riesling or Gewurztraminer arena. Having no white wine chilled and dinner being ready quickly pushed me towards the stock of red. At that point I ran across a bottle that came in a recent Barnard Griffin reserve wine club shipment -- the 2007 Grenache.

Many Northwesterners aren't familiar with Grenache as it isn't done too much around here, despite being one of the most prevalent red wine grapes planted in the world. California does some, but it is primarily a Spanish grape and is the dominant varietal of many southern Rhone
wines. The fruit, being late ripening, favors dry, high heat areas - Eastern Washington being one of those areas.

I had tasted this wine in the tasting room, so knew it's medium bodied fruitiness would work well with the spice. The best way I could describe it to my Willamette Valley friends was that it was sort of like a Pinot Noir, but not exactly. The vintage notes indicate a nose of mint, orange, raspberry, and brown sugar. I'll be honest, I found the nose to be quiet subtle and almost undersold the wine. Upon taste, though, it opened up and I could detect the flavors of orange and pomegranate. It was delicious and the perfect "light" red match for our spicy asian dish.

You can pick up a bottle for about $25.00 in the tasting room in Richland, WA or on their website. You don't see the Barnard Griffin reserve wines out in bottle shops too often because of the limited production, but their tulip label wines are fairly well distributed and they are worth checking out. BG is one of those wineries where I can honestly say that I've never had a bad wine.


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