Clayhouse ‘Casa de Arcilla’ Grenache Blanc 6-Pack
$69.99 $128.00 45% off List Price
2012 Casa de Arcilla Garnacha Blanca, Paso Robles
CT link above
It’s always strange when a single bottle magically appears in the mail. It’s also strange that we ALL start these rattage messages with a couple cutesy, unrelated sentences, so let’s all take it as assumed I’ve done that and dive right in:
I really didn’t like this wine.
I hate saying that, especially as I think the whole “sending test bottles to customers” thing is an outstanding practice, and I always applaud wineries for participating in Woot deals, but it really just wasn’t very good. Usual “grain of salt” warnings, and the fact that I am mostly a red, occasionally rose and orange, rarely white guy, but I’ve drank enough whites (and had a friend try it with me who likes whites, and we both came to similar conclusions) to at least gauge good-decent-bad, and this fell into the bad category for me.
The nose was decent, and promising, a bit soft but some nice green apple and even a touch of spice. This was the best part for me, and even softened the taste by taking it in right after taking a drink.
The mouth was just really not good. I tried to look for flavors but it was a mish mash behind a wall of bitter. Maybe I got a bad bottle, and I did succeed in finding a bit of tartness that I liked. My friend was not as forgiving and refused to keep drinking. I let it sit for a while, but half an hour and warming to room temperature didn’t help much at all.
Two days in the fridge brought a little bit more fruit forward and killed some of the bitter, so maybe this is a wine that should be cellared? In my experience that’s in the less common camp for whites so I couldn’t say.
Again, maybe the bottle was bad; we were in a minor heatwave when it arrived (90s, which for Portland is pretty high), so maybe it was tainted. I don’t really know. All I know is neither of us liked this enough to keep drinking it, which (at least for me) is saying something.
Edit to add: I just remembered it was still in the fridge, so I just took a slug of it (we opened it on Wednesday, so this is now four days later)–it has improved, a lot of the bitterness is gone. It’s dry and there is still that tart, which is nice, with a bit of sweet melon, on the palate. It might do well as a replacement for Vermouth in a martini, actually, as it is rather dry at this point. So maybe cellar for a while, then certainly decant, and if you are a fan of dryer whites, maybe this is your thing?
I have not had this wine. I will say that I have enjoyed many wines from Middleton family. Their Clayhouse brand puts out some awesome PETs and I have enjoyed their Tempranillo from this brand as well. The Cadaretta line out of WA is quite enjoyable as well.
Grenache Blanc is not the easiest variety to work with. It is prone to picking up bitterness but this does not always happen.
I have not had this particular wine, but my advice for this wine, along with most rhone white varieties, is to not have it served too cold. You really want to enjoy the aromas and textures of a wine like so, so try it a cellar temp as opposed to fridge temp - I think you’ll enjoy it a lot more!!!
Any updates from our Wine Woot suppliers and how their wineries made it out of the earthquake ?
Who wrote the blurb today because I’m wondering if there is a surprise switcheroo with the 2009 Clayhouse Estate Block 87 Petite Sirah when shipped?
Not gonna lie, I liked this one. Crisp and refreshing, nice acidity… I do typically enjoy white rhones, and while I won’t call this one super-complex, I think it was a good summer sipper, and great for the price…
Looks like they cloned a write-up and forgot a change. I’ll let them know.
Stacey here from Clayhouse Wines. Just wanted to weigh in and say how much I really like this wine. To me Garnacha Blanca is a great seafood wine, good crisp acid with citrus and green pear notes. There’s a restaurant in Paso Robles that makes an awesome scallop ceviche and this wine pairs perfectly with it!
If the GB was whole-cluster pressed, how heavy could the juice lees have been, anyway?
(sorry, just had to!)
All tasting notes for this wine have been cross posted into CT under user name wine.woot_taster. User names have been removed to protect the guilty. PM me if you want your tasting note removed or user name added back.
Thanks and back to the wineing.