WINE O’CLOCK: Like a white rag to a bull
By MICHAEL WOLSEY
LIKE books and covers, you should not judge a wine by its label. But it is easy to be tempted by Zekor Garnacha Blanca (Dunnes €10) because of its distinctive label which features only those three words and a large image of a young fighting bull.
Spain is mainly associated with red wines, as is the garnacha grape. So it good to see a successful exception.
It is produced in Navarra, the neighbouring region to Rioja, and home to Pamplona, of bull-running fame, where Zekor is the name for a young bull.
Red wines are also produced under this label and are a bit more bull-like than the blanca. It is a mellow, pleasant wine, with green fruit flavours, that goes well with fish or chicken.
French winemakers use garnacha, which they call grenache, in blended wines, but some Spanish vineyards use it for single variety wines, and this is one of them.
If you find Zekor a little bland, you may want to spend more on a complex white made with the garnacha grape. Look out for Hacienda el Cserio and Alma de Unx, single variety wines, and a lovely blend called Blei Clos Martina.
You’ll pay €12 to €15 for the first two and €20 or more for the Blei Clos Martina.
In southern France, grenache blanc is one of the varieties blended in the sweet wine called Rivesaltes Vin Doux Naturel. It is made by fermenting grapes and adding brandy when the desired sweetness is reached. The brandy halts the fermentation, finishing the wine sweet and fortifying it to last more than 100 years.
Bet you didn’t know that, now. Neither did I – but Google is a wonderful thing.