Tuesday, October 6, 2009

TN: Curran 2007 Grenache Blanc

The Curran 2007 Grenache Blanc is the Rhone white for fans of Riesling. I haven't had many Grenache Blancs, so the best I can do is compare it to other varietals. The Curran version is suggestive of a hypothetical mix of Viognier and Riesling. Perhaps Viognier isn't a great comparison; Viognier is usually reminiscent of apricots and honeysuckles. Grenache Blanc is more reserved, and this version was quite focused on pears and apples. But they do both share the same oily viscosity and tendency towards floral expression.

What really made this wine sing was the bracing acidity and hint of kerosene that is typical of Riesling. The initial attack gives the impression of being slightly off-dry, but the acidity, as it would for a Riesling, clears the palate and unleashes a long, minerally finish. Topping it all off is a very light dusting of tannin that barely exceeds the threshold of detection.

I don't write about many white wines, but this is one of the rare white wines that shows the complexity and depth of a red wine. It's just that the amplitude of the components is toned down. Usually whites for red drinkers take the buttery Chard route, using the grape as a substrate for myriad winemaking tricks. But Kris Curran's approach is more sensitive, and it's clear she is exceedingly talented at coaxing profound expression from her grapes.

Pros: Aromatic, Crisp, Long Finish, Minerality
Cons: Slightly Flabby Entry
Decant: Maybe
Price: $23 from Curran Wines
QPR: Fair (out of Poor, Mediocre, Fair, Good or Excellent with Fair denoting expectations were met for the price point)


maulmatt! said...

I recently had a pretty good Grenache Blanc from an SBC producer... Consilience. I didn't like many of their other wines, but they did a good job with that one. I'd love to try more... The Curran sounds really nice.

CabFrancoPhile said...

The pourer at their tasting room mentioned that Curran allows the juice to have some skin contact. So there's light phenolic extraction that few whites have.

I've tried the Consilience lineup, though I don't recall if the Grenache Blanc was included. Didn't care much for their lineup in general. Just too ripe and monolithic for me.