Everything you need to know to choose a bottle of European Garnacha/Grenache is on the label

The label of each bottle of European Garnacha/Grenache becomes a great letter of presentation of the wine since it offers us many clues about it. In addition, it is a guarantee that it complies with the regulations and with all European quality parameters.

Below, we explain the most frequent indications that usually appear on the label of a Garnacha bottle so that the next time you have one in your hand you know all its details and characteristics. NB: some of them are compulsory (*):

  1. Origin * and provenance *. The label must include all the information of interest regarding the origin of the wine (example: “Product from Spain” or “Product from France”), and the different regions (through the appellation). It is a hallmark and guarantee of quality. In this sense, the wines of the program “European Garnacha/Garnacha Quality Wines” meet a high level of quality and respect for the traditions of the regions from which they come from. Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) or Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) are always written in full letters on the labels; they are endorsed by the European Union and demonstrate this. This European program includes 5 PDOs from Spain that have Garnacha vineyards: Calatayud, Campo de Borja, Cariñena, Somontano and Terra Alta, and 13 PDOs from the Roussillon areas in France: Collioure, Côtes du Roussillon, Côtes du Roussillon Villages, Côtes du Roussillon Villages les Aspres, Côtes du Roussillon Villages Camarany, Côtes du Roussillon Villages Latour de France, Côtes du Roussillon Villages Lesquerde, Côtes du Roussillon Villages Tautavel, Maury Sec, Rivesaltes, Maury, Banyuls and Banyuls Grand Cru – as well as 2 Protected Geographical Indications (PGI) from the south of France Côtes Catalanes and Côte Vermeille.

  1. Vintage. The year when the grapes were harvested is another piece of information that provides a lot of information. It helps to remember the conditions in which the Grenache grape raised and when it has been collected. Most bottles indicate this on both the front and back. This way you can know if it is a crianza, young or reserve wine… etc. The vintage is compulsory for a PDO.
  2. Alcohol content *. One of the informations that appear on the labels is the degree of alcohol contained in the bottle. This value is indicated as a percentage of the volume (% vol.) in pure Ethanol. Garnacha wines are found between alcohol values between 11 to 18,9%Vol. Red wines are usually between 13,5 and 15,5%Vol and whites and rosés between 12,5 and 14,5, while fortified ones are around 16% Vol but can reach 18,9%Vol.
  3. Grape variety. This mention is particularly on the back label. It is the strain with which the wine was made, so it is useful to know if it is monovarietal (Garnacha only) or a blend (Garnacha with another variety); for example, the most famous coupage with Garnacha is the GSM (Garnacha, Syrah and Mourvèdre). There is also a great diversity of Red, White, Gray, Tintorera and Peluda Garnacha.
  4. Product category. The product class of wine as indicated in the regulations (wine, sparkling wine… etc) appears here.
  5. Tasting note. On the back label of the wine, we can find information about the tasting (color, aromas, flavor), description, production method and food pairing suggestions. Sometimes it also includes data on the optimal consumption temperature.
  6. Name of the product, details of the producer * and bottler *. To recognize the product, the name of the wine appears, as well as the address of the producer and bottler.
  7. Content volume in centiliters or milliliters. They are normally 75 cl or 750 ml bottles, although there are also half bottle for fortified sweet wine until Garnacha Magnum bottles with a 1.5-litre content.

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