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Walls: The secret to Roussillon’s stunning whites

Continuing his exploration of Roussillon, Matt Walls discovers the fresh, crisp whites coming out of this region and uncovers the secret behind their success.

Roussillon and the southern Rhône have many things in common. They share the same four main red grapes: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Carignan, and both regions endure hot, dry summers.

But while the white wines surrounding Avignon tend towards generosity and richness, those around Perpignan have a distinct crispness and clarity. The key, it transpires, is a grape with a familiar name but a distinctive profile: Grenache Gris.

Grenache is like Pinot in many respects: it comes in three colours, it has thin skins, and it can reflect the minutiae of where it’s grown with precision. And just as there’s a clear difference between Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris, so there is with Grenache Blanc and Grenache Gris.

Scroll down to see notes and scores for 24 white Roussillon recommendations from Matt Walls

Matt Walls: 24 Roussillon whites to seek out

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