Recently, Kevin & I attended a class on Southern French Whites at The Party Source EQ Center. I'm a big fan of these whites, which includes my favorites – aromatics – including Viognier, Picpoul, Roussanne, and Marsanne. We brought home several of these bottles.
All prices are per The Party Source.
Cave de Vignerons de Montagnac Picpoul de Pinet 2007, Languedoc/Hérault, $9.99:
The grape on this one is the Picpoul, which is actually fairly hard to come by at stores around here. Tart lemon, zesty, and then mineral-y in the mid-palate. This would be an excellent first course, salad wine. Kevin called it a good patio wine.
Ninet de Pena Viognier 2006, Vin de Pays, $9.99:
This Viognier had a nose of daisies and apricots, which carried through on the palate. I found it a little oily in texture (again, think truffle oil, not gasoline) and Kevin thought it dried out his mouth on the finish. It paired fantastic with apricot preserves on brie.
My rating: Kevin's rating:
Château de Lancyre Roussanne 2007, Pic St. Loup, $16.99:
This Roussanne could age for another couple of years. It was a very food friendly wine. Acidic and earthy all at once, with a sweet and floral nose. Kevin even found violets on the finish. I probably would have upped it to my top score had I paired it with a meal.
My rating: Kevin's rating:
Château Beauchêne Côtes-du-Rhône Marsanne 2006, Southern Rhône, $15.99:
This Marsanne was golden in color. The nose had lemon, butter, apricot, and honey – very rich flavors. The taste followed up, rich and full with lemon and butter, very smooth. I got spices on the smooth and easy finish.
Domaine la Fadèze "Quatuor" 2003, Vin de Pays, $11.99:
This one is a blend of Viognier, Roussanne, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay. The nose is salty and full of sea air. The taste had a nicely balanced acidity and tartness. It wasn't rich and fat, but it was still very full in the mouth. The finish had lilies; it was mellow and pleasant.
Alain Paret Condrieu 2006, Northern Rhône, $39.99:
Oh goodness. That's the first thing I had written down on this 100% Viognier. If you didn't notice, the price jumped on this one, and for good reason. The nose adhered to what I always think a viognier should smell like – fruit loops. Seriously. Go stick your nose in a box of fruit loops and inhale. It smells vaguely fruity and sweet. Granted, I also love when a viognier smells like flowers, and this one was also floral on the nose. Kevin picked out tulips. It tasted light, yet full on teh tongue, filling your mouth. These was a lot of complexity to this viognier, which continued onto the light and buttery (but not thick) finish.
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