Monday, October 24, 2016

Roussillon Wine: Grenache Blanc, Gris

Le Clos de Paulilles Collioure is in the south of the southernmost region in France. It's so far south, it's almost Spain. In fact, it once was Spain. Besides being a valuable military point in the old "stormin' the castle" days, it also has some mighty nice vineyards in the hills. Some of them produce wine for the Banyuls dessert wines you may have enjoyed.

Collioure is also famous for its anchovies. Mark Kurlansky says they are the best in the word in his book, "Salt."

This white wine is made using 70% Grenache Blanc grapes and 30% Grey Grenache. Roussillon's Eric Aracil notes that the grey variety is the "used to produce white, dry rosé wine or Vin Doux Naturel (fortified sweet wine)." He says it "produces powerful, rounded, elegant, voluptuous wines with hints of aniseed and minerals."

The vineyard terraces of the clos go right down to the Mediterranean, picking up notes of the sea and salt spray. The 14% abv content is quite manageable, although a little higher than usually found in France.

This wine looks golden in a carafe, but pours up yellow-gold in the glass, very close to a faint, faint rosé. Take a sniff and it’s mineral time. Wet rocks and lemon peel, lime and even some tangerine appear on the nose. The sip brings all that into focus with a hint of grapefruit and pineapple thrown in. Acidity is top-notch, but not abrasive. The finish leaves me wishing for a beautiful spring day.

Have it with trout almondine, or just the almonds. I think I would like it with a Caesar salad, extra anchovies.


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