Australia’s top 12 grenache wines

Grenache has experienced a resurgence of popularity in recent years and is becoming increasingly sought-after worldwide. Fortunately for Australian grenache lovers, local winemakers create some of the top drops.

They’re keenly priced too! A South Australian Grenache – The Ethereal One Fleurieu Grenache 2020, priced at just $13 – made history last year by becoming the first Australian wine to be awarded the International Grenache Trophy in the prestigious International Wine Challenge.

 Endeavour Group said it had seen an increase in sales of grenache.

“Even though grenache is one of the world’s most planted grape varieties, and Australia has some of the oldest grenache vines, we are seeing a modern renaissance of how Australian Grenache is being made, in particular in McLaren Vale. The quality of Australian grenache at the moment is outstanding, so it’s no surprise that this wine variety keeps winning at wine shows in Australia and across the world,” said Endeavour Group Head of Fine Wine Andrew Shedden. 

The sixth annual James Halliday Grenache Challenge recently crowned a wine from Western Australia’s Swan Valley as Australia’s best grenache to sip in 2023.

The 2021 Mandoon Estate Discovery Series Grenache was tasted and benchmarked against a record 160 grenache wines from around Australia.

Hosted by the McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association each October, 2022 McLaren Vale Wine Show Chair of Judges Andrew Thomas praised the compelling quality of entries in the latest challenge, which he said showcased a range of diverse styles and the continued evolution of grenache wines.

“The rise and rise of Australian Grenache can be witnessed by another year of record entries for the 2022 James Halliday Grenache Challenge,” said Thomas.

“Wines from South Australia dominated the entries and the also the Gold medals awarded, however it was a wine from the Swan Valley that got the nod from the judges as the most outstanding wine of the competition.

“The entries showcased a range of diverse styles with the most compelling wines demonstrating the continued evolution of the style, showing bright florals and red fruit aromatics combined with a deliciously savoury texture and bright acidity. It is clear that the 2021 vintage was particularly well suited to this more contemporary style with the majority of the top wines hailing from this vintage.”

Thomas said the Mandoon Estate 2021 Discovery Series Grenache displayed “a compelling vitality, intensity and concentration all within a light to medium weight frame, finishing with a bright acidity and impeccable fine chalky tannins.”

He added that special mention must also go to the two runners-up wines, the Peter Lehmann Wines 2021 The Barossan Grenache and the Serafino 2021 Reserve Grenache from McLaren Vale.”

The Grenache Challenge top 12

  1. Mandoon Estate 2021 Discovery Series Grenache (97 points, Top Gold)
  2. Peter Lehmann Wines 2021 The Barossan Grenache (96 points, Top Gold)
  3. Serafino 2021 Reserve Grenache (96 points, Top Gold)
  4. Seppeltsfield 2022 Barossa Grenache (95 points, Gold)
  5. Gargoyle Wines 2021 Grenache (95 points, Gold)
  6. Krondorf 2021 Founders View Barossa Grenache (95 points, Gold)
  7. Brothers at War 2022 Peacekeeper Barossa Grenache (95 points, Gold)
  8. Bondar Wines 2021 Higher Springs Grenache (95 points, Gold)
  9. Yangarra Estate Vineyard 2021 Old Vine Grenache (95 points, Gold)
  10. In Praise of Shadows 2021 Grenache (95 points, Gold)
  11. Seldom Inn 2021 Grenache (95 points, Gold)
  12. The 5OS Project 2021 MK Grenache (95 points, Gold)

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