Pinot Blanc almost certainly originated in Burgundy where it once flourished alongside Chardonnay. It's an often overlooked grape and is known as the Poor Man's Chardonnay. As luck will have it the Chardonnays of today have spurned ageing in oak barrels and are returning to a lighter style which is more typical of Pinot Blanc. Today, while some patches may be found in Burgundy, most of the Pinot Blanc grown in France is found in Alsace, where it is one of the most widely planted varietals.
Pinot Blanc from Alsace is one of the best bargains in the wine world. The use of new oak in Alsatian wine making is extremely rare, so Pinot Blanc here must rely on its fruit. It is more acidic than Pinot Auxerrois and has the flavour of creamy lemons, lime blossom, vanilla, spicy pear and anise. Albeit clean and refreshing, it can also be nutty and rich, with a delicate smoky character. Pinot Blanc will make your mouth water – and it makes racy, viscous wine. The best examples are immediately appealing, offering a delightful plumpness with rich, juicy fruit.
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