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Varietal Rhône White Blends
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Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2005Rhone White Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
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Learn about Rhône White Blends - taste profile, styles, regions and more...
Full-bodied and flavorful, Rhône White Blends essentially come from France’s Rhône Valley. Today these blends are also becoming popular in other regions, proving most successful in California and Australia. Typically some combination of Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier form the basis of a Rhône White Blend with varying degrees of flexibility depending on the exact appellation.
Tasting Notes for Rhône White Blends
Rhône White Blends are dry, white wines and vary according to their constituents. Round, textural Grenache Blanc gives green apple and white stone fruit flavors; weighty Marsanne adds structure and honeysuckle aromas; Roussanne lends intriguing herbal, tea-like notes while Viognier provides a creamy texture and elegant aromatics.
Perfect Food Pairings for Rhône White Blends
White Rhône blends are quite versatile food pairing wines and can work meals that might often be matched to red wines. Grilled swordfish with caper butter or baked, herb-crusted mahi mahi are natural allies for these flavorful wines. Other ideal dishes include roasted pork in mustard sauce, poached lobster with beurre blanc or a savory vegetable quiche.
Sommelier Secrets for Rhône White Blends
In the Northern Rhône, blends of Marsanne and Roussanne are common in the appellations of Saint-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage and St-Péray. Condrieu and Château-Grillet can produce single-varietal Viognier only. The Southern Rhône, on the other hand, has much more variety, with many more permitted grapes for the blends: the ones named above as well as Bourboulenc, Clairette, Picpoul and Ugni Blanc.