BLANKbottle's Orbitalfrontal Cortex (2016) is a crisp, tasty wine from South Africa that starts with a white grape juciness that gives way to acidity, followed by floral hints. I hate using the word "tasty" for some reason but I wrote it in my notes. I also wrote "I am not really sure what to say."
Of course I didn't leave it there.
The acidity on the finish sort of leaps up and smacks you. It perhaps seems stronger than it is because the first sensation is fruit--white grape juice or maybe melon is likewise boisterous. What you get out of this wine seems to change with every taste. Is it changing with air or am I just noticing different things? This is a wine you may need more than one bottle to sort out. It is peculiar but not in any way that makes it hard to approach. It is quite easy-drinking.
The blend is Clairette Blanche and Verdelho with smaller amounts of Palomino, Chenin Blanc and Grenache Blanc. To say this is an unsual blend is an understatement. Find more information on South African grapes HERE.
Clairette Blanche is a moderately common grape in the South of France (including Southern Rhone, Provence and Languedoc-Rousillon). Historically it has been used in making vermouth. It produces wines with lower acidity and often finds its way into blends with higher acid wines. It is one of the main varietals used in white Chatteau neuf de Pape. It is also used in sparkling wines. It is grown in relatively small amounts in various other places, including South Africa where there are less than 500 acres planted.
Verdelho is a white Portuguese grape grown both on the mainland and on the Madeira Islands. In the latter instance it is mostly used in fortified wines. It is also grown in Galicia in Spain and is making inroads in the New World in South
America, Australia,California and Virginia.
Palomino is the major grape used in making Sherry (Spain), Grenache blanc is grown extensively in France and Spain. Chenin Blanc is a native of France and is the signature grape France's Loire Valley. There are actually more acres planted of Chenin in South Africa than there are in its home country.
I haven't seen them all blended together before but this is probably because, as far as I know, they only grown in the same vicinity in South Africa.