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Tranche Cellars Slice of Pape Blanc 2010

Rhone White Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • RP92
0% ABV
  • RP91
  • WE94
  • RP90
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Winemaker Notes

A dramatic wine with a bouquet of violets and jasmine, fresh ripe cantaloupe, and a hint of sea mist. The palate is a see-saw balance between fruit and savory elements. Remarkably complex flavors of dried apricot, peach pit, apple skin, tangerine, kumquat, and ocean brine. Finishing with a meyer lemon and lime zest acidity. The savory notes linger for minutes, finishing more like a red wine.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
More serious, the 2010 Slice of Pape Blanc is a knockout white that has real character and depth. Made from 59% Roussanne and 41% Viognier and aged in 100% neutral French oak, it has a rich, yet vibrant profile of lemon curd, buttered peaches, green almonds and a touch of flowers to go with a medium-bodied, textured mouthfeel. While it has solid richness, it has racy acidity and beautiful detail and poise on the palate; it would pass undetected in a lineup of Chateauneuf du Pape Blancs and will continue to shine for another 3-4 years or more.
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Tranche Cellars

Tranche Cellars

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Tranche Cellars, Columbia Valley, Washington
At the base of Washington's Blue Mountain Estate Vineyard sits Tranche Cellars, where the bucolic town of Walla Walla blends into the gentle mountains forming the eastern border of the Walla Walla Valley.

Throughout our Estate Vineyards, we cultivate a diverse collection of some of the world’s most interesting grape varietals. We practice only sustainable viticulture, meticulously hand farming each block, producing very low yields of intense fruit.

The grapes native to France’s Rhone Valley are destined to our "Slice of Pape" program, our homage to the wines of the Southern Rhone Valley. Slice of Pape, Slice of Pape Blanc, and Pink Pape (our dry rosé) are each blends from these traditional varietals and reflect our best effort to articulate these classic styles in the New World.

Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA capable of producing a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington state’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA even extends into northern Oregon!

Because of its size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which are both further split into smaller, noteworthy appellations. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences extreme winters and long, hot, dry summers. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the entire year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling. These range in style from citrus and green apple dominant in cooler sites, to riper, fleshier wines with stone fruit flavors coming from the warmer vineyards.

Rhône White Blends

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Full-bodied and flavorful, white Rhône blends originate from France’s Rhône Valley. Today these blends are also becoming popular in other regions, proving most successful in Spain, Australia and California. Typically some combination of Grenache blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier form the basis of a white Rhône blend with varyiong degrees of flexibility depending on the exact appellation.

In the Glass

Each variety contibutes something unique and different. Round, textural Grenache blanc gives green apple and white stone fruit flavors; weighty Marsanne adds structure and honeysuckle aromas; russet-colored Roussanne lends intriguing herbal, tea-like notes while Viognier provides a creamy texture and elegant aromatics. The flavor of the final wine will depend on the chosen components of the blend and their respective proportions.

Perfect Pairings

White Rhône blends are quite versatile food pairing wines and can work with light to medium rich meals that might often be matched to red wines. Heavier fish dishes with bold seasoning like grilled swordfish with caper butter or baked, herb-crusted mahi mahi are natural allies for these flavorful wines. Other ideal dishes include roast pork in mustard sauce, poached lobster with beurre blanc, or a rich and savory vegetable quiche. `

Sommelier Secret

In the Northern Rhône, blends of Marsanne and Roussanne are common in the appellations of St.-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 including the ones named above as well as Bourboulenc, Clairette, Picpoul and Ugni Blanc.

YNG579923_2010 Item# 126551