Although France's Chateauneuf-du-Pape appellation is known primarily for its rich, luscious red wines, I'm a big fan of its lesser-known whites.
They aren't easy to come by. The production of Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc is miniscule compared to Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge. About 95% of all Chateauneuf-du-Pape produced is red. But, the white CDP wines are well worth seeking out.
One of my favorites comes from Chateau Mont-Redon ($40), whose vineyards sit on the Rhone River's left bank, between Avignon and Orange. Large, rounded stones called galets serve to retain a portion of the intense heat of the southern sun and slowly disperse it to the grape vines at night, ensuring optimal climatic conditions for the growing of CDP varietals.
The primary grape used in Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc is typically Grenache Blanc, but a variety of other grape are often blended in, including Clairette, Bourboulenc, Roussanne, Picpoul and Picardan.
Chateau Mont-Redon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc is Grenache Blanc-based, with gorgeous white fruit, lime and melon flavors and citrus aromas -- a very racy rendition of Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc. It's terrific with seafood, chicken and pork dishes. Track some down: you'll love it!