Thirsty Thursday: Pre Labor Day White Garnacha Blanco Vina del Vero

This Thirsty Thursday we need something interesting.  Labor Day will come and we will drink cheap beer.  The last thing we need on Labor Day is a conversion about grape clonal types.  It is a day to eat, drink, and not think.

Group Of Friends Enjoying Barbeque On Beach TogetherBut until the brainwashing, let’s test that gray matter with something familiar but not: Grenache.  Now Grenache has starred in award winning red roles such as: Châteauneuf du Pape, Rhône, Rioja, Priorat, anything big red and Languedoc, and rosé from Provence.

And then there’s Grenache Blanc: a mutation of Grenache Noir, much as Pinot Noir mutated into Blanc and Gris.  Like Grenache Noir, Blanc grows vigorously throughout the Western Mediterranean, producing large, thin-skinned grapes that can reach high alcohols.

Today we find it in Somontano DO: an appellation high in the foothills below the Pyrenees and East of Rioja:

Somontano Map Wine These high hills mean colder nights, which should keep Grenache’s tendency toward flabbiness and low acids in check.

The producer is Viñas del Vero, which sounds like some pure, board room meeting, demographics-tested, genius (like Blue Sky Thinking or Gogurt), but they are real, really.  They own 700 hectares and a real winery: San Marcos estate.  One of their vineyards is solely dedicated to Garnacha Blanco: La Miranda de Secactella. And this is what their 2012 tastes like:

La Miranda de SecastellaLooks: clear, bright yellow like, lemon juice.

Aromas: Think of a medium intense mix of lemongrass, honeydew melon, and white pear that meshes with an exotic, but light, layer of chai tea with cream.

Palate: Dry, perfectly present balancing acidity, a ripe, fullish body, and actually hints of tannin.

Flavors: a ringing line of grassy, snappy, lemon-like greenness runs through this.  Around it layer soft white melon, those chai tea spices, and pear, all of which tighten into a salt-like minerality. Long.

Conclusions: Mouthwatering yet fat.  This reminds me of really good chardonnay from cool climates of the new world: crackling acidity that keeps a rich body in check, while a deft lacing of French oak melds both acid and body into one fairly harmonious whole: very good (4 out 5).  This could take on richer dishes, herbed white meats, grilling, cream sauces, fried things.  And it costs under $15.

So today, grab something new. Test that gray matter, while it still cares.  And then have a happy Labor Day.

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About waywardwine

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One Response to Thirsty Thursday: Pre Labor Day White Garnacha Blanco Vina del Vero

  1. Pingback: Thirsty Thursday: Fiano, Castello Monaci, Acante, Salento, IT 2011 | WAYWARD WINE

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