December 15, 2010

The Grape Escape: More mixing up white blends

Last week, I recommended a white wine from southern France that demonstrated the merits of blending white grape varieties to achieve a tasty mix that went beyond where either could go alone.

This week, let’s try another reasonably priced dry white blend from the same neck of the woods. I’m recommending another bottling from France’s southern Rhone valley, one that assembles a crowd of grapes that sing an appetizing chorus. It’s made by the Perrin family, perhaps best known as producers of the fabled — and expensive — Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Perrin 2009 Côtes du Rhône Réserve Blanc ($12.99)

The wine is a transparent straw color with fresh white-fruit aromas. A hint of pears and lime juice add a higher-pitched note of mango. On the palate, the wine is crisp and mouth-watering, medium-bodied with a backbone of zippy acidity that hangs on in a long, food-friendly finish. It’s a typical white Rhone blend of Grenache Blanc (50 percent), Bourbolenc (20 percent), Marsanne (10 percent), Roussanne (10 percent) and Viognier (10 percent) grapes.