Grenache (in Spanish, Garnacha) is one of the most widely planted red wine grape varieties in the world. It ripens late, so needs hot, dry conditions such as those found in Spain, the south of France, California and Barossa. It is generally spicy, berry-flavoured and soft on the palate with a relatively high alcohol content, but it needs careful control of yields for best results. It tends to lack acid, tannin and colour, and is usually blended with other varieties such as Syrah, Carignan and Cinsaut.
Grenache is the dominant variety in most Southern Rhône wines, especially in Châteauneuf-du-Pape where it is typically over 80% of the blend. In Australia it is typically blended in 'GSM' blends with Syrah and Mourvedre.

 

Grenache is also used to make rose wines in France and Spain, notably those of the Tavel district in the Côtes du Rhône. And the high sugar levels of Grenache have led to extensive use in fortified wines, including the red vins doux naturels of Roussillon such as Banyuls, and as the basis of many Australian fortified wines.
Evidence suggests that Grenache is most likely of Spanish origins, with the northern region of Aragon its likely home. Grenache (Garnacha), was already well established on both sides of the Pyrenees. Despite its prevalence in nearby Navarra and Catalonia, Garnacha was not widely planted in the Rioja till the early 20th century as vineyards were replanted following the phylloxera epidemic.
Grenache based wines tend to be made for early consumption with its tendency for oxidation make it a poor candidate for long term aging. However, producers with low yields grown on poor soils can produce dense, concentrated wines that can benefit from cellaring.
The characteristic notes of Grenache are berry fruit such as raspberries and strawberries. When yields are kept in check, Grenache based wines can develop complex and intense notes of black currants, black cherries, black olives, coffee, gingerbread, honey, leather, black pepper, tar, spices and roasted nuts.