As its name states, the Grenache Blanc is a close relative to Grenache - a popular red grape originating in Spain. The blanc, or white version of the varietal, however, is thought to have mutated over the years, spreading north along the Pyrenees Mountains to finally stake its claim in France’s Rhône Valley. Today, Grenache Blanc is the fifth most planted white varietal in France where it is an important blending grape for Roussanne, Marsanne and even some Red Blends.
Grenache Blanc vines produce yellow grapes with light skins which can range from a light-golden appearance to almost clear in color. Their resulting wines are typically rich and well-rounded with clean, crisp flavors of green apple, ripe peach, grapefruit and honeysuckle. While accompanied by bright, long-lasting acidity, this wine can also have luscious creamy features - making it a perfect wine for summertime.
As a popular grape in the south of France and northeastern Spain, it was bound to gain traction in the New World; namely Australia (known as White Grenache) and America, claiming areas in California such as the Central Coast - more specifically in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties. In recent years the varietal has received some well-deserved attention from winegrowers in California who are producing more single varietal wines from Grenache Blanc. Not only does it have amazing stand-alone qualities, but its blending ability also adds to the appeal. When blended with other varietals, Grenache Blanc adds flavor complexity and length while preserving acidity and balance. Approximately 350 acred planted state wide - not much when compared to Chardonnay, which demands close to 100,000 acres.
The 2014 Grenache Blanc from Seven Angels Cellars happens to be the inaugural feature of Grenache Blanc for Gold Medal Wine Club! Produced in Paso Robles, CA, we are delighted to present this favorable wine in our Garagiste monthly Wine Club.