All the medal-winning wines from the Global Grenache Masters 2021
We bring you the results in full from the 2021 Global Grenache Masters, which saw samples from Roussillon to McLaren Vale; Provence to Priorat, and Rioja to Barossa take home top scores in this unique competition.
FOR THOSE who follow our Global Wine Masters closely, you’ll know we have competitions for every major grape. From Chardonnay to Sauvignon, from Pinot Noir to Cabernet there’s a Masters blind tasting, giving us a chance to discover the best wines from these widely planted varieties without being tempted to pre-judge –a risk if you know the source area or producer when critiquing wine. And, after each tasting, we report on our findings, outlining the strengths and weaknesses in terms of style and taste, as well as the top sources for the grape in question.
At the end of 2021, it was time for us to assess the wines made from Grenache. A grape rising in reputation and popularity, it was an important tasting, if, compared with some of our other competitions, a relatively small one.
I mention the wide range of grapes we shine a spotlight on for this reason in particular. The Global Grenache Masters was, and by some margin, the most enjoyable tasting I did in 2021. The wines were a delight to sample, and the quality of entries remarkable.
We have never had such a high proportion of top-scoring drops, or a tasting with so few disappointments.
Grenache, one can say, based on this competition, produces a reliably high standard of wine, and in styles that offer both instant appeal and lasting pleasure. Plus, it does this at low prices, and at the top end. Also, it can produce wonderful results for rosés – famously seen with the great pink wines of Provence – surprisingly good whites and gris, and, above all, outstanding reds. It is also the source of wonderful fortified wines too, although these did not feature in this Masters – those wines will go into our separate competition for fortifieds.
So what makes Grenache so delicious? In terms of red wines – the mainstay of this Masters – it’s the union of juicy, soft, ripe red berry fruit and a medium-to-lightweight body – a little like slightly redder, fleshier Pinot – with delicate white pepper spice, and a combination of dry tannins and moderate acidity, which together provide mouth-watering refreshment. Added richness can then come from its ability to carry the influence of vanillin from new oak, and glycerol, along with sweetness from elevated alcohol – this is a grape that naturally yields high ABVs, rarely below 14%, and commonly 14.5%, even 15%.
As for the flaws found in wines from Grenache, if harvested too early the wines can be excessively tannic, while those made from grapes picked too late can taste raisined and cooked – sometimes with a burn from excessive alcohol levels too.
Such wines tend to have higher pH levels as well, seemingly leaving them at risk from premature ageing, or oxidation. It’s also a grape that seems to clearly show the influence of Brett – a character that some might deem as desirable at low levels, when it brings clove-like flavours, but not, in my view, when it carries farmyard-like notes the yeast is most famous for.
But the wines from this year’s Masters almost without exception showed a lovely balance between fully ripe fruit and fresh acidity, and a clean profile, featuring pure flavours, and subtle oak-sourced elements. And at the top end, the complexity came from additional, complementary characters, such as orange zest, liquorice and chalk, usually a result of sourcing from very old, low-yielding, bush-vine Grenache and barrel ageing.
Importantly, whether the wines were simple or complex, they were so easy to drink, and, with the softness you might find in a Pinot and the spice of a Syrah, Grenache offers a style that would match so many dishes.
- See below for all the medallists from this year’s competition, and further information about the competition, as well as how to enter.
- Click here to see a report on the top 16 Grenaches from the competition.
|Winery||Name of Wine||Region||Country||Vintage||Medal|
|Still White – Unoaked|
|Vent del Mar||Garnatxa Blanca||Catalonia||Spain||2019||Silver|
|Still White – Oaked|
|De Bortoli Wines||Grenache Wizardry Blanc||Heathcote||Australia||2021||Bronze|
|Still Rosé – Unoaked|
|Aresti Wines||Aresti Mandala Rosé||Curicó Valley||Chile||2020||Silver|
|EDCH Winery||Desert Rosé||Curicó Valley||Chile||2020||Silver|
|Viña Valdivieso||Eclat Rosé||Curicó Valley||Chile||2020||Bronze|
|Aresti Wines||Cabina 56 Rosé||Curicó Valley||Chile||2020||Bronze|
|Vranken-Pommery Monopole||Domaine Royal de Jarras Gris de Gris||Languedoc-Roussillon||France||2020||Gold|
|Vranken-Pommery Monopole||Pink Flamingo Gris Tête de Cuvée||Languedoc-Roussillon||France||2020||Silver|
|Vranken-Pommery Monopole||Favet 9/10||Languedoc-Roussillon||France||2019||Bronze|
|Scala Dei||Scala Dei Pla dels Àngels||Priorat||Spain||2020||Gold|
|Still Rosé – Oaked|
|De Bortoli Wines||Grenache Wizardry Rosé||Heathcote||Australia||2020||Silver|
|Winery||Name of Wine||Region||Country||Vintage||Medal|
|Still Red – Oaked|
|Pernod Ricard Winemakers Spain||Campo Viejo Garnacha||Rioja||Spain||2020||Silver|
|Viña Valdivieso||Eclat Curiosity Grenache||Curicó Valley||Chile||2018||Silver|
|Vent del Mar||Garnatxa Negra||Catalonia||Spain||2019||Silver|
|Bodegas Riojanas||Viore Garnacha Tinta||Castile and León||Spain||2020||Bronze|
|Axial Vinos||Las Margas||Aragón||Spain||2019||Gold|
|De Bortoli Wines||Grenache Wizardry Grenache||Heathcote||Australia||2019||Silver|
|Viña Valdivieso||Eclat Carrizal||Curicó Valley||Chile||2018||Silver|
|Rioja Vega||Albret La Loma||Navarra||Spain||2020||Bronze|
|Domaine of the Bee||The Bee-Side||Languedoc-Roussillon||France||2019||Gold|
|Wakefield/Taylors Wines||Jaraman Grenache||McLaren Vale||Australia||2020||Gold|
|Bodegas Borsao||Tres Picos||Campo de Borja||Spain||2019||Gold|
|Axial Vinos||Prados Colección Garnacha||Campo de Borja||Spain||2019||Silver|
|Axial Vinos||Lúculo Origen||Navarra||Spain||2018||Bronze|
|Domaine of the Bee||Les Genoux||Languedoc-Roussillon||France||2019||Master|
|Schild Estate Wines||Edgar Schild Old Bush Vine Grenache||Barossa Valley||Australia||2019||Gold|
|Schild Estate Wines||Old & Survivor Vine Grenache||Barossa Valley||Australia||2019||Gold|
|Bodega Bilbaínas||Viña Pomal Vinos Singulares Garnacha Tinta||Rioja||Spain||2017||Gold|
|Hutton Vale Farm||Hutton Vale Farm||Eden Valley||Australia||2017||Gold|
|Scala Dei||Scala Dei Saint Antoni||Priorat||Spain||2017||Master|
|Scala Dei||Scala Dei Masdeu||Priorat||Spain||2016||Gold|
|Res Fortes Wines||The Brave||Languedoc-Roussillon||France||2017||Gold|
About the competition
With high-quality judges and a unique sampling process, The Global Grenache Masters provides a chance for your wines to star, whether they hail from the great vineyards of Europe or lesser-known winemaking areas of the world.
The 2021 competition was judged over one day in December, employing experienced judges. The top wines were awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze medals according to their result, and those expressions that stood out as being outstanding in their field received the ultimate accolade – the title of Grenache Master. This report features the medal winners only.
Please visit the Global Masters website for more information, or, to enter future competitions – giving you the chance to feature online and in print – please call: +44 (0) 20 7803 2420 or email Sophie Raichura at: email@example.com