The French name for the Spanish Garnacha although the name Grenache is more common. The world's 2nd most planted varietal, with large amounts in France, Australia, California and all over Spain. A sturdy vine that grows best as a shrub vine in intensely hot and dry growing regions, the Grenache is very versatile producing wines that vary in color from light rose to inky black and in sweetness levels from dry to dessert style. High yields and heavy irrigation are its foe, with pale reds of little flavor as the result. But careful pruning and old vines can produce wines of surprising depth and flavors of spices, jammy black fruits and sometimes a certain gamey or meaty character. For more on the Spanish version see Garnacha.
The best Grenache can be found in the Rhone Valley of southern France. The wines of Vaquerays, Gigonadas, Cotes du Rhone, Languedoc Rousillon, and most impoortantly Chateauneuf-du-Pape can be very nice, if often the Grenache is blended with other wines. Several growers in California, quaintly called the "Rhone Rangers," have taken to old vine Grenache, again mostly as a blend but some individual Grenache exists. Also found in Australia and South America.