Winery: Europa Village
Product/Varietal: 100% Grenache (also, globally referred to as Garnacha, Cannonau, Garnatxa and Tocai Rosso)
AVA on Bottle: Temecula Valley
4.2 out of 5 stars on Vivino
91/100 from Wine Enthusiast
How They Describe It
The sun bears down on the sandy, windswept soils. A small, gnarled vine fans its leaves toward the sky. The delicate berries swell and ripen, waiting for the cool of evening to rest and rejuvenate, ready to start again tomorrow.
A vivid and appealing Bing Cherry color and aroma mark this wine for greatness. It is made in the restrained and beautiful Spanish style with a dancing acidity and freshness on the palate. Bright and crisp acidity on the attack with a smooth wave of creamy oak and raspberry on the finish. Serve with an eggplant parmesan and watch your guests swoon.
How I Describe It
Grenache is naturally a pale ruby and can quickly oxidize to develop a slight tawny presence. Europa Village’s Garnacha is no different in this regard. Its color is close to a deep salmon or ruby with copper highlights.
Don’t let that pale color fool you, this Garnacha explodes with aromatic intensity. Temecula’s long, hot, sunny growing season allows these grapes to fully ripen and develop aromas of jammy raspberry, candied cherry, and strawberry coulis. Underneath that fruit attack is a subtle complexity of geranium, lavender, eucalyptus, white pepper, and smoke. There’s even an unmistakable, captivating fragrance of Angostura Bitters.
Make no mistake, this is a dry, medium-to-full-bodied, high alcohol (14.2%) wine. Neither the supple tannins or lower acidity provide enough structure to support aging this wine. But why wait? If you can find it, it’s spectacular now.
On the palate, the fruit shows more baked characteristics than fresh fruit — kirsch, raspberry jam, and baked berry pie. A layered, sophisticated finish offers spice, white pepper, eucalyptus, savory earth, and chaparral bush to go with the oak-influenced flavors of smoke, cloves, coffee, cinnamon, and baking spice. And, oh yeah, there’s that Angostura Bitter flavor dashing in for one last flavor sensation.
Why is This Wine Special?
Grenache is the second most planted Vitis Vinifera species in the world. You’ll find it in the sunkissed, arid areas of Australia, Sardinia, Southern California, Washington, and South Africa. And it blankets nearly all of Southern France and Northern Spain. When picked early, Grenache’s versatility lends itself to many Provincial and Spanish rosés. Fermented as a dry red wine, Grenache is fruity, medium-to-full-bodied, with ripe tannins and a spicy, herbal profile. Globally, you’ll find the more structured Grenache blends labeled as a “GSM” (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) and in the Southern Rhone listed as Côtes-du-Rhône or by their village (Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Listrac, Gigondas, etc.). The rugged, arid areas of the Spanish region Priorat, produce some of the deepest colored, black fruit concentrated, alcoholic Grenache in the world.
Europa Village’s Garnacha is unique in the fact that it is a single varietal bottling of Grenache grown in Temecula Valley. Temecula’s climate is very well suited for the grape. Southern California winemakers are catching on to the fact it is versatile enough to craft fruity rosés, and when treated seriously, as a high quality dry red wine. I’ve tasted many of the Grenache grown and produced by Temecula Valley winemakers. This Europa Village offering is not only one of the best, but it is also the best I have evaluated. On three separate occasions, this wine was blind tasted in a flight of five Grenache wines. The wines in these flights consisted of not only other Temecula bottlings but wines originating from Santa Barbera, Spain, and France. Each flight produced strikingly similar notes and conclusions. In a sea of insipid, fruity Grenache single varietal wines, Europa Village’s Garnacha rises to the top.
When & How I Would Drink It
Grenache, whether single varietal or blended, is tailor-made for classic French dishes of Coq-Au-Vin or Cousselet. Not feeling that adventurous? The jamminess, fuller body, and high alcohol would be a good match for any grilled meat or BBQ.
How to Get It
Order Online: https://shop.europavillage.com/Shop/Bolero-Cellars
Bottle Price: $40 (discounted price for wine club members)
Cases Produced: 138
Have you tried the Europa Village 2016 Bolero Garnacha? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.