What the Heck is Garrigue?

Garrigue is a big word and is commonly found in reviews of red wine from Southern Rhone or those that emulate it. So what exactly is this?

The dictionary says something like this:

Garrigue (noun) – A type of scrubland found on French limestone soils or other areas of the Mediterranean.

Wow – that is uninspiring and decidedly not very tasty.

In wine, however, garrigue is referring to the smell and perceived taste of that scrubland vegetation. Is that making your mouth water yet?

This earthy, vegetal and almost peppery aroma and flavor is a dead giveaway for Syrah and Grenache or a blend thereof. Imagine buying one of those convenient patio herb kits at the garden center and then getting the aromas of thyme, rosemary, and mint all in the same pot – that is garrigue.

Quite simply, it is a melting pot of herbs and even dried flowers that have matured in the warm Mediterranean sun.

If this flavor can take you to the south of France – bon voyage. If not, just know that wines from the Southern Rhone have aromas of dried herbs and vegetation.

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