Grenache, or Garnacha, is one of my favorite grapes. While it doesn’t quite have the depth of color of other larger red grapes, it can be a powerhouse blending grape that lends body and bright fruit flavors, most typically raspberry. As the vine grows older, and produces less fruit, skilled wine makers can use smaller concentrated yields to produce velvety, powerfully concentrated wines. While typically blended, it can also fly solo, and usually sees some period of oak aging.
Such is the case of Bitch, which hails from Aragon and Navarra in Spain. Although you’d never know it from a cursory look at the bottle, Bitch is 100% Grenache. While Spain typically does very good grenache, and wines for under $10, sometimes a dud slips through. Can the eye catching 2009 Bitch Grenache prove itself, of is it just bitching for the sake of bitching.
Sight: More brick red, slightly duller, with a magenta edge. In line with Grenache’s ability to lose color quickly.
Smell: It’s a bit muddled, but there’s a strong raspberry syrup, touches of mint, heat from alcohol is slightly oppressive. There’s an interesting spicy note as well.
Sip: It gets very hot, and then mellows slightly. A bit woodsy, spices prevail heavily with strong cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg. A bit of old leaves in fall going on. All sit behind a heavy weight of overripe raspberries. The mouthfeel is heavy [A.B.V. 14%]
Savor: It grows bitter quickly, and then heavily woodsy with mildly red berry note. The spices dissipate rapidly.
Overall, 2009 Bitch Grenache is good, but it’s just a bitch to have a lot of. The flavor profile packs in a lot of good stuff, but suffers from the 14% alcohol, shining through and being a touch hot. The raspberry is great, the spices are wonderful, and the mix creates something more interesting than its individual parts. The thing is though, it’s a hard wine to dissect down, it has a lot of bold flavors that fight more than collaborate. It just needs a bit more balance, and to be a little clearer, and it’d be mind blowing at the price point.
Verdict: Bitching Bitch