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Cellar Pinol Portal Blanco 2015
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Vinos Piñol enjoys a high Mediterranean, with very hot days and cold nights with moderate rains. This climate allows the grapes to ripen very well during the day and slowly during the night, allowing the acidity and the skin-to-juice ratio to build up to the necessary level to have a well-balanced wine. The vineyards are well-protected by the high mountains surrounding Batea.
Limestone on the surface layer and clay on the inside layer, the soils of Vinos Piñol are poor in organic matter. This causes the vines produce lower yields, creating more concentrated grapes. With old family-owned vineyards, small production, organic farming, and the same climate conditions as Priorat, Vinos Piñol has become known for a beautiful selection of wines.
The highest wine growing zone in Spanish Cataluña, Terra Alta is south of Priorat and Montsant. Here growers are following the trends of Priorat, recovering Garnacha blanca vines for white wines and focusing on quality red blends.
Producing full-bodied white wines, Grenache blanc can be unctuous and soft or floral and fresh. Some of the finest examples are terroir-driven, age-worthy wines. It is a key ingredient in white Châteauneuf-du-Pape and is a significant variety in Roussillon’s Vins Doux Naturels. For delicious and approachable table whites popular in France, Grenache blanc blends well with other indigenous grapes. But it doesn’t always have to be blended. Single-varietal Grenache blanc wines are becoming more popular in California and can occasionally be found in South Africa. In Spain it plays a significant role in northeastern whites from Priorat, Tarragona, Rioja and Navarra.
In the Glass
Grenache blanc wines have mango, white peach, lime and pear flavors and often smell of sweet honeysuckle and fennel. The wine can be plump and rich with a brioche quality if aged in oak, or leaner with herbal notes if not.
Grenache blanc goes with spicy poultry or fish dishes like Chinese Five Spice Sea Bass, Moroccan Tagine and Satay. It can hold its own against lemon and lime zest, garlic, allspice, capers, and cilantro.
Whites from the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation of the Rhône are often rich, oak-aged blends of Grenache blanc and Roussanne.