The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Columns

May 12, 2013

Howard Hewitt: Grenache Blanc makes wonderful seasonal choice

If the same old Chardonnay, Riesling or Pinot Grigio is getting you down, try something different.

Italian Vermentino, Argentina’s Torontos, and Spain’s Macabeo are great whites with different flavor profiles. Grenache Blanc is the fourth-most planted white wine grape in France and becoming more popular each year as a single varietal wine. It’s often used in traditional Rhone and Southern France blends. It’s also a great alternative to the usual suspects.

Tablas Creek, Paso Robles, has championed Rhone whites for years. Oregon’s Joe Dobbes has become a huge fan and terrific producer more recently.

“I was making a Rhone blend for one of my southern Oregon customers,” Dobbes explained during a Chicago marketing event. “It was Marsanne, Rousanne, Viognier and Grenache Blanc. Lo and behold, they had two tons of Grenache Blanc left over and said ‘Hey Joe, do you want it?”

That’s been a few years ago and now Dobbe’s Family Estate Grenache Blanc sells out each year. “I wanted to be first one to say let’s hang our hat on this grape. As a winemaker, I’m always trying to do something new and different, right? Oregon is known for Pinot Noir and we have some beautiful wines in southern Oregon. But the Grenache Blanc came along and I thought ‘what’s the risk for a couple of tons of grapes?’

“I want rich full-flavored, varietal fruit in my whites. I started in Germany in 1985 and those white aromatics really helped formulate me. The Grenache Blanc is made “with no new barrels, no malolactic fermentation, and no filtration. The wine has great clarity and great richness in the mouth.

“The quintessential wine has great mouth feel, specifically whites, and beautiful fruit with great acidity. “I think this wine has all three.”

Dobbes looked at the landscape and saw Oregon winemakers selling Pinot Noir, most with a Pinot Gris but not many other choices. “I got tired of having to sell my Dobbes luxury label at a discount and thought we were going in the wrong direction. We decided to hang our hat a bit on Grenache Blanc, a specialty wine for a high-end retailer or restaurant. You’re not going to see this everywhere.”

The wine retails from Dobbes’ tasting room at $26.

The veteran winemaker acknowledged people are always looking for something different. “So we offer them some unique, fruity, esoteric whites. We’re also about Pinot Noir. Now Oregon winemakers are asking me where they can get Grenache Blanc, and I say … well, you can’t.”

Dobbes buys all of the Grenache Blanc available from the one producer who has six acres in southern Oregon — the state’s entire production! Dobbes’ most popular label, Wines by Joe, is widely available.

It might be easier to find Grenache Blanc from a California producer; still there are only 159 acres in the country’s biggest wine-producing state. The wine is characterized by its crisp acidity and often hints of green apple, orange, peach and minerality.

Besides Dobbes and Tablas Creek, try a Domaine Virgile Joly Grenache Blanc widely available in the Midwest and East Coast. Price points range from mid-teens to mid-$20s for these dynamic white wines.

Howard W. Hewitt, Crawfordsville, Ind., writes about value wine every other week for 22 Midwestern newspapers. Read his wine blog at www.howardhewitt.net.

 

1
Text Only
Columns
  • OPN - Mootry column mug [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Primus Mootry: There is a poet in each of us April is National Poetry Month. Throughout the country, colleges and universities, elementary and secondary schools, libraries and various publications have hosted poetry readings or featured unpublished poets.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • underwood mug [Duplicate] Scott Underwood: Nightmares from high school proms past I wore a salmon-colored tuxedo with a cummerbund and tails to my senior prom. I was 6-foot-6 and 175 pounds. A beanpole.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hayden, Maureen mug Maureen Hayden: Judge in gay marriage decision no activist

    When U.S. District Judge Richard Young recently ruled in favor of a lesbian couple seeking recognition of their out-of-state marriage, opponents of same-sex unions called him an activist judge who was unilaterally trampling the law. The label didn’t resonate with those who know Young well.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charo Boyd mug [Duplicate] Charo Boyd: Social Security goes green on Earth Day and every day For years, Social Security has been at the forefront of offering convenient, easy-to-use, and secure online services. We, along with those we serve, have saved a lot of paper, shipping costs, and fuel — and cut back on a lot of carbon exhaust and pollution — by going online instead of doing things the old-fashioned, less efficient way.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tim Kean: Can we have a 'A New State of Mind?' I have recently read some great articles about people coming together to make a difference in the lives of children facing food insecurity. The collective effort of a group can provide some much-needed food to kids who may not have a meal when they return home from school or during the weekend.

    April 19, 2014

  • SPL - PT041014 - Ken de la Bastide column - Ken sig Ken de la Bastide: County may eliminate Data Processing Board

    Action two weeks ago by the Madison County commissioners to close Data Processing Board meetings to the public might run afoul of the Indiana Open Door law, and a local resident is considering filing a complaint with the Public Access Counselor’s office for a determination.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Timmons, Theresa mug Theresa Timmons: Dinosaurs run amok at mamaw's house I love my new job as a grandparent. It includes playing imaginary tennis with imaginary tennis rackets, making elaborate tents in the living room, and hair-pulling.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stringer, Maleah mug Maleah Stringer: Volunteers needed to spend time with shelter animals Shelters can be extremely stressful places for many animals, particularly those who have been in a loving home. This is why we want people to come into the shelter and spend time with our animals — to help keep them adoptable so that when the right person comes along they are ready.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bailey, Jim mug Jim Bailey: Wages were much less back then, but so were prices If you have any questions about what economists mean by inflation, just look at yesterday’s buying power. Those old western movies talked about wages of $1 a day. That wouldn’t even buy a burger at a fast food joint today by the time sales tax is added in.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clark, Big Joe mug [Duplicate] 'Big Joe' Clark: Understanding the risks within fixed income investments Many retirees associate the concept of taking “risk” with the equity markets. However, as 2013 demonstrated, there is also principal risk in the fixed income arena if an untimely liquidation requires you to sell bonds and generate income.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

Do you plan to attend any of the local Little 500 Festival events in May?

Yes
No
What events?
     View Results