Grolleau Noir | red grape variety | Loire Valley | France Restaurants, Wine, Travel, Opinions

Grolleau Noir grape variety
Wine glossary

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Country: France

Grolleau Noir is a rare, red grape variety (actually the skin of the grape is almost black in colour) found in the Loire Valley round the cities of Angers and Tours which is very dark red in colour. The most favoured wine to be made with this grape is rose and it is a key component of the beautiful, light-coloured rose made by Rene and Agnes Mosse.
The grape is thought to have been derived from the same parent as Chardonnay, namely the enigmatic Gouais Blanc (which is also known by any other names including Heunisch Weiss in Austria).
The area planted to Grolleau has dropped significantly since the 1950s which saw almost 12000 hectares planted. Now there is only a little over 2000 hectares scattered through the Loire Valley.
It is used to make low-alcohol red wines that are very juicy and food friendly and also for the famous rosé wines that hail from the Anjou area called Rosé d’Anjou.
Grolleau Noir is permitted in the Anjou appellation, however the maximum amount permitted in a red wine is 10%. This is the reason why Toby Bainbridge’s delicious Grolleau Noir called ‘Rouge aux Levres’ is a Vin de France, because it is 100% Grolleau Noir and hence does not meet the rules of the Anjou appellation.
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