Tag Archives: Grenache

New South African Producer: Leeuwenkuil

Got three new wines from at Morgan & York from a South African producer I’ve never seen before, Leeuwenkuil. They date back to 1693, so shame on me!

I tried the reds the other day with a grilled steak, and the white last night with a chicken dish that included a rhubarb and garlic pan sauce.

Leeuwenkuil Cinsault (2015) Swartland, South Africa – $22

Color: garnet red.

Aroma: red fruit and cedar.

Taste: fresh and bright – according to the label, they use carbonic maceration (the technique used for Beaujolais Nouveau) on some of the clusters to produce pure, young fruit notes. A hint of vanilla, and quite soft.  This isn’t up to a big beef dish but would be good for lamb, pork, or charcuterie.

Leeuwenkuil Grenache (2015) Swartland, South Africa – $22

Color: purplish-black.

Aroma: dark earthy notes and sweetish black fruit.

Taste: Chewy – leather, oak, dried fruit, lots of white pepper and black pepper. Oak and tannin on the finish.  It’s a bit hot at 14% alcohol, so make sure to chill this for a few minutes before serving in the summer.

I’m definitely a fan of this one over the Cinsault.  Needs a touch of air and chill.  Recommended.

Leeuwenkuil Grenache Blanc (2015) Voor Paardeberg, South Africa – $22

Color: medium gold.

Aroma: light – mostly floral and melon.

Taste: great balance of melon, citrus, pear, and minerality. The perfect amount of acidity for a good meal, and the minerality is especially appealing when paired with rhubarb.

Also recommended – compare to white Rhone varietals or blends.

Voor Paardeburg is a new appellation to me; from a bit of research I see it’s a subdistrict of Paarl, just north of Stellenbosch.

F Bomb Grenache

Had this a week ago and forgot to transcribe my notes – here we go!

F Bomb is made in Santa Barbara by the Dirty Pure Project.  It has a few percent each of Barbera and Lagrein – northern Italian grapes – added to the blend.

F Bomb Grenache (2012) Santa Barbara County, California

Color: garnet red.

Aroma: vanilla and cherry, with some definite heat.

Taste: bright, with good acidity and freshness. Mostly fruit notes on the midpalate and finish, but there’s a little earthiness in there as well.

Pleasant enough as it is, but not worth putting into your cellar – especially when you consider how many different Grenache bottlings from Spain are out there for half the price.

 

Evodia Garnacha

One of my favorite old-vine Grenache bottlings from Spain, with loads of pepper and a big, full, finish. This is a great alternative to old-vine Zinfandel or Australian Shiraz blends. I’m drinking this with a spicy pizza – and here’s the recipe!

  • Trader Joe’s fresh pizza dough
  • Trader Joe’s Eggplant-Garlic spread
  • 4-cheese Italian blend
  • Pepperoni
  • Portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • Artichoke hearts, diced
  • Kalamata olives, halved

Photo0367Let the dough warm up at room temperature for about an hour. On a floured board, spread it out with your hands until it’s about 14″ diameter. Transfer to a pizza baking pan (non-stick, with perforations to let the steam). Put on a thin layer of sauce, several handfuls of cheese, and the toppings. Bake in a pre-heated 450º oven for about 25 minutes.

Evodia Garnacha (2010) Calatayud, Spain – $13

Color: lighter than you expect; just like old-vine Zin, this isn’t opaque but rather a dusky reddish-purple.

Aroma: black pepper, white pepper, nutmeg, and dried fruit.

Wine-007Taste: easy-drinking up front, then transitioning to a tougher, spicier, tannic profile the farther back it goes on the tongue. Plenty of spice notes, including some dried red pepper, and good acidity throughout. A great wine for spicy pizza.

Recommended. This is a great example of old-vine Grenache and deserves a place in your cellar. It’s best when it’s 3 to 7 years old.