There’s a feeling among some winemakers that you can’t make decent wine from young-vine Grenache and so they choose not to work with it at all (the old vines of Piekenierskloof, for instance, pretty much tied up). I think this is a little defeatist. If we don’t plant Grenache now, how are we going to have old vines later? Besides, does it really hold that young vines don’t give you anything worthwhile?
Last night a bottle of Fairview Caldera 2008, a blend of 50% Grenache from a young vineyard in Darling plus 25% Mourvèdre and 25% Shiraz from Agter-Paarl. That wild strawberry character that I think is so characteristic of local Grenache plus some darker fruit, a touch of earthiness and spice. Just starting to turn with the first signs of some developed character in evidence. Tannins still firm, however, and nice bright acidity. So much more enjoyable than a “green” Bordeaux-style blend or wishy-washy Pinot.