2017 Grenache Blanc
Grenache Blanc is the white version of the red Grenache and is widely planted in the Rhone Valley and in Spain. It is often used along with Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier, and other varietals in white wine blends in the Rhone. It is also finding increasing popularity in the south of France, as a stand-alone varietal. Very little is planted in California.
The 2017 vintage commenced with a refreshingly wet winter with rainfall totals about 40% above average, flushing vineyard soils of built up salts, and promoting healthy root and cover crop growth in the early season. Bud break occurred in mid-March and fruit set in mid-May. The winter’s rains acted as a double-edged sword, deferring the need to irrigate until June in many areas, but also requiring heavy shoot thinning, leafing, and hedging, as vine canopies were quite vigorous. Temperatures were average through August, though September saw three heat waves, making picking decisions challenging and fruit sorting imperative. The hard work resulted in wines with a rich fruit core, underlaid by an elegance from the early- and mid-season cool temperatures.
The grapes were hand-picked and whole cluster pressed to stainless steel tanks for a cool fermentation. This retained the natural acidity and ripe fruit flavors. After fermentation, the wine was barrel aged for five months in French and Hungarian oak, of which 18% was new.
The 2017 Grenache Blanc displays a beautiful straw color with aromas of apricot, golden delicious apple, and subtle baking spices. On the palate, these elements are joined by flavors of asian pear and toasted brioche. This is a light bodied white which is delicious as an aperitif, or for pairing with your favorite pasta, seafood, or grilled chicken dish.