Scheid Vineyards Grenache Blanc 2017
While Marsanne, Roussanne, and Viognier are the best known of the white Rhône varietals and therefore steal most of the attention, Grenache Blanc is a hidden gem that is love at first sip. The white-skinned form of the Grenache grape, it is an important variety in the south of France, especially the Languedoc and Roussillon areas. But in California, just over 200 acres of it are planted, and Scheid is the proud owner of 1.98 of them! Grenache Blanc produces rich wines with tremendous body and crisp acidity. This version emphasizes the variety’s fruit-infused aromatics -- citrus, apples, melons and honeysuckle. The palate is rich, balanced and refreshing thanks to the wine’s natural viscosity and ample acidity. Absolutely delicious!
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This is one of the southern Rhône varieties that can be the most glorious due to its pretty nature, precise acidity, and edgy point of view. Warm days ripened the fruit showcased here, and the aromas are bejeweled with lime and minerality. Slate and lemon wedge enhance the palate as white flowers lay a delicate groundwork. Tart green apple and Valencia orange ride in on the vivacious acidity
Al Scheid first purchased property in Monterey County in early 1972. Monterey wine grape growing was in its infancy and Al was drawn to the region for its untapped potential. Back then, Scheid Vineyards was called Monterey Farming Corporation and it was originally structured as a limited partnership. If you are over 50, you may remember that the tax laws at that time allowed investors to offset losses against regular income. Al, a graduate of Harvard Business School and an investment banker and entrepreneur, was running his own investment company and became intrigued with the idea of vineyards as a tax shelter vehicle – heavy investment on the front end and no income until at least five years into the project. After determining that it was a sound plan and Monterey County was an ideal region, Al scouted for vineyard ground, formed the Vineyard Investors 1972 limited partnership, and found a customer for 100% of the grape production before even one acre was planted. This was soon followed by the Vineyard 405 limited partnership and Al Scheid’s career in wine growing had begun
A geographic and climatic paradise for grape vines, Monterey is a part of the greater Central Coast AVA and contains within it five smaller sub-appellations, including Arroyo Seco, San Lucas, San Bernabe, Hames Valley and the famous Santa Lucia Highlands. The climate is relatively warm but tempered by cool, coastal winds, allowing the regions in Monterey County an exceptionally long growing season. Bud break often happens two weeks sooner and harvest tends to be two weeks later compared to other surrounding regions.
Monterey’s coastal side, where the cooling ocean fog allows grapes to develop a perfect sugar-acid balance, excels in the production of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling. Warmer, inland subzones are home to fleshy, concentrated and full-bodied reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Zinfandel.
Chardonnay, covering about 40% of vineyard acreage, is the most widely planted grape in all of Monterey County.
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 many white blends across southern France and NE Spain. Somm Secret—Grenache Blanc plays a key role in Roussillon’s Vin Doux Naturel called Rivesaltes and a subsidiary role in Banyuls and Maury.