I suppose, Gros Manseng is a pretty unknown grape variety, unfortunately. I am the sort of person who likes to try unfamiliar grapes, not just standard Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. You can find some pretty amazing stuff out there if you look. There is such a variety that makes wine so exciting, colourful, different, sophisticated. Why cannot get excited by a Bonarda? A good Grüner Veltliner or Albarhino? Have I mentioned Torrontes yet?
Gros Manseng is a French grape variety primarily produced in Jurançon in South-West France and Gascogny. You can find it in blends, but also as a single varietal. It produces intensely flavoured, aromatic wines with fruity floral aromas and zingy acidity. Traditionally used for sweet white wine but, depending on the level of ripeness and the way it has been handled, it can result very different dry white wines. Rather great white wines with spice, quince and apricot. It reminds me slightly to Gewürtztraminer.
I have tried one the other day and I was pleasantly surprised. I am not going to write tasting notes and all, because my point is, we should not be afraid to go with something different. Just because they are not well-known, they can be well-established and very reasonably priced. You can get real value for money.
Photographs by The Tannin Addict.