Weekend wine: Huaso de Sauzal Garnacha 2013
August 10, 2017
It was such a lovely surprise that I had to share this wine with you. Grenache (Garnacha in Spanish) wines generally come from hot places like Spain, the Rhône and Australia. They can be high in alcohol, rather short on acidity and, as this is a thin-skinned variety, light on colour and tannins. All-in-all, there are a lot of rather boring Grenache wines out there. Not a word you could use to describe the seductive Huaso de Sauzal Garnacha.
The secret, apparently, is to use grapes from old vines and to keep the yields low. After years of being treated as only good as a cheap and cheerful component for red blends, Grenache is now being rediscovered around the world.
I haven’t been able to find out very much about this particular wine. I understand it’s been made with grapes from old, dry-farmed vines in the Maule Valley in Chile and produced using traditional winemaking methods, but that is all I can tell you for sure.
This wine would go well with quite a range of different dishes – a vegetable bake or roast red meat, for instance. In my case, it paired beautifully with a mixed buffet – hams, salamis, salad, olives and bread.
The wine is medium ruby in colour, deeper than a lot of Grenache wines. It has a pronounced and complex nose packed with aromas of red and blue fruit: cherries, strawberries, blueberries and cranberries. There’s a herbal hint I can’t quite identify (liquorice, rhubarb?) and a sweet note of baking spice. A hint of violets came through as the wine evolved. This is a dry, medium-bodied wine with fresh acidity and medium tannins and 13.5% alcohol. Nice and flavoursome with lots of sweet and juicy red and blue fruit and some spicy notes. Medium finish.
Where can you buy it?
This wine is stocked in small, niche wine stores. In Chile, the Cava del Pescador stocks Huaso de Sauzal Garnacha, as does BBVinos. Indie Wineries in the US also has it on their website. Enotria & Co in the UK stock other wines by the same producer.