What’s open now

Curran 2006 Grenache Blanc

Grenache Blanc is unusual for California. Click above link for what Curran has to say about their wine. Here’s what Jancis says about the grape in the Oxford Companion to Wine:

the white-berried form of grenache noir, is discreetly important in France, where it was overtaken by Sauvignon Blanc as fourth most planted white grape variety (after Ugni Blanc, Chardonnay, and Sémillon) as recently as the late 1980s. Although in decline, the variety is grown on a total of more than 6,000 ha of France, half of them in Roussillon, where it produces full-bodied whites that vary from fat and soft to nervy, terroir-driven cellar candidates of the upper Agly valley. It can also be an important ingredient in the paler Rivesaltes.

Grenache Blanc is also often encountered—with the likes of Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier, and Rolle—in the blended white wines of Languedoc-Roussillon, to which it can add supple fruit if not longevity. It need not necessarily be consigned to the blending vat, however. If carefully pruned and vinified, it can produce richly flavoured, full-bodied varietals that share some characteristics with Marsanne and can be worthy of ageing in small oak barrels. It is also an ingredient in white Châteauneuf-du-Pape.


Garnacha Blanca is the light-berried grenache blanc of which in 2004 there were about 3,000 ha/7,410 acres in Spain, where it plays a role in north eastern whites such as those of Alella, Priorato, Tarragona, Rioja, and Navarra.

What I have to say about the wine

I don’t like it.

Here’s a WSET-approved tasting note.

Clear, Pale lemon, white rim, wide-spaced legs.

Clean, youthful aroma with med-pronounced aromas of petrol, citrus, white pepper.

Dry, med acid, high alcohol, no tannins. Medium – body with medium – intense flavor of lemon, star fruit, pear. Medium length.

Then we have to draw conclusions.

Give the predominant smell of petrol, my first guess would be that this is riesling. But then it has the white pepper, which you don’t often find in riesling. But then there is the tropical fruit — I said star fruit, which isn’t really an accepted WSET term — but riesling from the Nahe does have a lot of pineapple characteristics. But what would give it away as not riesling is the high alcohol content. I haven’t looked yet. It’s a big 14.1 percent. So I’d never guess grenache blanc, mostly because I haven’t tasted a lot of single varietal examples, but the wine’s hotness would give it away as coming from a hot area. In this case it’s the Santa Ynez Valley in California.

I’d say it’s still pretty young based on the color and freshness of the aromas. I don’t believe it’s going to age that much, so drink now. And I’d say it’s average quality. It’s too short on the palate and in length and the intensity of the flavors, or lack of them, doesn’t quite stand up to the high alcohol content.


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  1. Pingback: What’s open now « Cellarette

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