The Austin Chronicle

Weekend Wine: A $12 Gem from France

By Wes Marshall, May 26, 2023, 7:00am, On the Range

When most shoppers think of the southern Rhône area of France, they think of the reds like Châteuneuf du Pape. In Europe, the area is also renowned for its white wines made from grapes like Marsanne, Roussanne, and Picpoul.

Given the relative obscurity of the area’s white wines, you may have to work a little harder to find them. But you also may stumble on some wines that are insane values. That’s what happened to me when I had the chance to try Grand Marrenon ($12) from the Luberon AOC.

The wine is a blend of Vermentino (vehr-men-TEE-noh) and Grenache Blanc. Given its price, you might expect a fruity, easy to drink wine. Instead, this is a wine of amazing complexity that will give wine lovers something to talk about while simply pleasing folks who want to whet their whistle. The wine has wet stone minerality and classic Vermentino virtues like an almond aroma with a slightly salty finish. Wondering what to pair it with? Place a small stalk of rosemary and two paper-thin slices of lemon into the middle of a seasoned whole trout and drop it on the grill. The Grand Marrenon will elevate the dish to a perfectly wonderful dinner.

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