#newwinethisweek Week 44 – Pinot Blanc, Alsace
This week’s #newwinethisweek, Pinot Blanc, has a bit of an image problem. It covers over 20% of the vineyard area in Alsace but is considered a “workhorse” grape, far less revered than its regional counterparts, Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris. Jancis Robison even describes it as “useful rather than exciting”; I think this is unfair and this week hopefully you’ll find out why.
Centuries ago Pinot Blanc was a revered grape in Burgundy; a few of the wine makers I met over there say there is still a decent proportion of Pinot Blanc still hiding amongst the world famous Chardonnay vines. It is also often found in Italy under the pseudonym Pinot Bianco, and can be used in the production of sweet Vin Santo, and England are having a good go at it too!
Pinot Blanc is the un-credited star of Cremant d’Alsace, but by itself it can produce clean, fresh and aromatic still wines. In fact, if it says Pinot Blanc on the label of an Alsace wine, you are probably drinking a blend of Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir (vinified without skin contact). But however it’s made and whatever is in it, I think it makes a brilliant afternoon slurper or a great aperitif; I’m a big fan and I’m hoping you will be too by the time the week is over.
Un fortunately there isn’t much of it available on the high street, but I urge you to head to your nearest wine merchant and get on the Pinot Blanc bandwagon:
Or check out this fab English number:
Once you’ve had a slurp, please come back and let us now what you think!