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What: Idilico Garnacha Yakima Valley 2013 $20

Where: Ballard Market, West Seattle Thriftway, Pike and Western Wine Shop 

Why: Grenache has native homes in both France and Spain, where it is referred to as garnacha. Here in Washington, grenache plantings remains extremely scarce. To wit, out of 50,000-plus acres, only 268 are grenache. However, winemaker interest in the variety is high, as evidenced by the fact that last year it was Washington’s most expensive grape variety per ton. 

Grenache actually has a long history in the state, with plantings dating back to at least the 1960s. However, the variety’s cold tenderness has been a challenge to growers throughout the decades and, for a while, many simply gave up on it. 

Lately, however, grenache seems to be making a resurgence in Washington, with a number of winemakers offering high quality bottles. The rub, of course, is that many of these wines come with fairly hefty price tags north of $40. Not so for today’s wine which comes in at half that tariff. 

Idilico is the Spanish variety label for Woodinville’s Pomum Cellars. The 2013 Idilico Garnacha Yakima Valley ($20) is a prototype for the variety with aromas of raspberries and dried herbs followed by a full-bodied palate with succulent fruit flavors and velvety tannins. If you’re wondering what has winemakers excited about grenache in Washington, it’s bottles like this. Drink up!


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