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The Grenache Blanc Grape


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About Grenache Blanc

(Synonyms: Alicant Belyi, Alicante Blanca, Belan, Belon, Bernacha Blanca, Fehér Grenache, Garnacha, Garnacha Blanca, Garnacho Blanco, Garnatxa, Garnatxa Blanca, Grkenas Mplan, Grenash beli, Grenash Belyi, Grenash Bjal, Lladanor Blanca, Rool Grenache, Silla Blanc, Sillina Lanc.)

Background

Map showing lands under the Crown of Aragon
(Whether to call this grape, and its family relatives, by the French name of “Grenache” or the Spanish name of “Garnacha” is a tough call. We elected to use the Spanish designation for the red-wine grape—as Spanish lands were its original home plus nowadays more is produced in Spain than in France—but the French designation for the two white-wine varieties, as that seems to be what they are most commonly known as.)

Grenache Blanc is a white-wine grape originating as a color mutation of Garnacha Tinto (the Garnacha/Grenache family has three color varieties: Tinta = red, Blanca = white, and the less-known Gris, which also makes white wines); we found no indication of when the Blanc mutation arose, but as the main grape is quite ancient, the variant is likely old as well (the earliest known citation of it was in 1872, but it is almost surely significantly older than that). The original home of the Garnachas is most likely Spain, or rather the historical Spanish kingdom of Aragon at the time Garnacha appeared.

In modern times, Grenache Blanc has been mainly a French Rhône wine, but there is now a veritable explosion of interest in it in California. As there is a current fad for Rhône wines (both French and the Californians produced by the so-called “Rhône Rangers”), this variety has come in for its share of interest; fortunately, it deserves it. When well-made as a monovarietal, it makes wines that are rich and full-bodied, often quite aromatic and strongly flavored, especially if—as is common—it is barrel-aged in oak. There are also significant plantings in Croatia, Macedonia, California (where it is rapidly growing in acreage), and even South Africa.

A typical well-made Grenache Blanc is straw-colored, with aromas of complex citrus notes with stonefruit and green apple mixed—some even mention dill and other spices. Its taste mostly carries that through in a rich, full-bodied wine with medium to high alcohol levels and some perceptible minerality. It is a wine that should be drunk quite young, as aging risks oxidation.

Factoid: Grenache Blanc is in the top white-wine plantings in France; as to just where, reports vary from #9 up to #4, depending on whom you ask.

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Some Descriptions of Grenache Blanc Wines

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Some Grenache Blancs to Try

(About this list.)

Curran Grenache Blanc
(Santa Ynez Valley, California.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Black Slate “La Morera Blanc” Grenache Blanc
(Priorat, Spain.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Edetaria “Via Terra” Garnatxa Blanca
(Terra Alta, Spain.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Priest Ranch Grenache Blanc
(Napa Valley, California.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Sans Liege “Groundwork” Grenache Blanc
(Paso Robles, California.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks

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For a Splurge

We could find no reasonably available Grenache Blanc wines better enough than those listed above as to justify a “splurge” price.

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This page was last modified on Monday, 23 March 2020, at 3:52 pm Pacific Time.