Wednesday, June 11, 2008

WBW #46: Rhone Whites

It is time for Wine Blogging Wednesday #46! Dr. Debs of Good Wine Under $20 is our host this month and she chose the theme of Rhone Whites. The classic Rhone white grapes include: Bourbolenc, Clairette Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains, Picardin, Picpoul, Roussanne, Ugni Blanc, and Viognier. These grapes are often blended together and blends were fine for the theme. And we could choose wines made with Rhone grapes from anywhere in the world.

I just had to look into my cellar to fine the 2006 Curran Grenache Blanc ($24) from California. I had bought this wine, with two other Curran wines, from Jill at Domaine547. I previously reviewed the 2004 Curran Sangiovese and the 2004 Curran Syrah and enjoyed both of them. So I had high expectations that I would enjoy the Grenache Blanc as well.

Kris Curran, who used to be the wine maker at Sea Smoke, started her own label, Curran, in 1997. She sources the grapes from premium vineyards in the eastern end of the Santa Ynez Valley. She certainly is an excellent wine maker.

Grenache Blanc is popular in the Priorat region in Spain as well as in Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc blends in France. Yet it is relatively rare in the United States, with fewer than 100 acres planted nationwide. The grapes for this Curran wine come from a vineyard in the warmer eastern edge of the Santa Ynez Valley. The grapes are whole cluster pressed and then fermented in stainless steel. Malolactic fermentation is inhibited to showcase the varietal characteristics of the grape.

This wine has a pale yellow color with an enticing nose of peach and lemon. It is a full-bodied white wine with flavors of peach, lemon and slight herbal notes. It is very crisp and refreshing with a nice, long finish. In a respect, it reminds me of some Pinot Noirs aas it has a certain silkiness to its texture. As it sees no oak, then you don't have any of that buttery taste or mouthfeel. Instead, there is a purity of fruit that is quite appealing. Kris Curran has another winner with this wine and I heartily recommend it as a Drink & Buy.


Dr. Debs said...

Aaaahhhh. Is it ok for the host to say that this is quite probably her favorite Rhone white of recent memory? I've got a single bottle left that I'm jealously guarding for a bad day. Thanks for participating!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had as much fun with your Rhone-style white as I did on this Wine Blogging Wednesday!