Grenache Blanc, also known as Garnacha Blanca, is a white grape born in northern Spain. Despite not getting as much recognition as its relative red grape Grenache, Grenache Blanc has been an irreplaceable component of many Rhone wine blends and multiple Spanish wines. While not as popular as a single varietal as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, it’s getting more and more recognition since planted in the United States, thanks to its higher alcohol content, intense flavours and majestic plush style, that’s similar to Chardonnay.
The origins of the grape are still not clear, but it’s commonly believed that’s it’s a mutation of the red grape, Grenache. After it’s mild success in Spain, it spread to France, where the white grape found its second home. In fact, since the 1980s, Grenache Blanc has been one of the most widely planted grapes in France, falling only behind Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Ugni Blanc.
If asked to describe Grenache Blanc with 2 words, nothing fits better than green richness. This white wine’s aromas burst with citrus and green fruit notes that include mango, white peach, green apple, Asian pear and even lime zest. You’ll notice subtle flavours of honeysuckle and fenugreek, along with lemon curd, brioche, and baked apple. On the palate, it’s rich, with herbal and salty mineral notes. Due to its high alcohol, Grenache Blanc is also known for delivering a spice driven finish.
Grenache Blanc is located fairly high on the intensity spectrum, which means the white wine can be paired with a wide variety of cuisine, from fish and vegetable dishes to rich meat such as pork and lamb. This also makes it well suited with spicy foods of Asian, Indian, Spanish and Moroccan origins.
If you’d like to try a bottle, buy Grenache Blanc at the ZYN liquor store in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, or order the white wine online at zyn.ca!