Monday, June 30, 2008

Coupla White Rhones

I quite irresponsibly skipped out on posting for the recent WBW white Rhône event, so here are the notes I meant to post way back when. Each are around $14 and are good values.

Philippe Faury St. Joseph Blanc 2004
Philippe Faury makes a clean and lovely Côte-Rotie, and that's an apt description for this 60% Marsanne, 40% Roussanne St-Jo blanc. That said, the wine is just short of exciting. Pear's the fruit here, and soft nutmeg and apple skin comes across as well. Medium-bodied and nicely focused on the palate, with good length, and I'd pair this with white-fleshed meats.

Auguste Clape Saint-Péray 2005
You probably know Auguste Clape as one of Cornas's leading vignerons, and I certainly have loved the very limited experiences I've had with his distinctive syrahs. Now color me impressed by this golden beauty. It's 100% marsanne and it showcases a rich nose of honeycomb, banana, baked apple, and lemon, but while full-bodied, it's elegant rather than over the top. It shows great presence at the midpalate and an acidity that purrs throughout the long finish. The soft brown spices, marked by coriander in particular, are beautiful. I'd love to see what becomes of this wine in two years.

I was hoping to report back on the Abacela's Estate Grown Viognier from 2007, launched straight outta Southern Oregon's Umpqua Valley, but the bottle I tasted may have been in shock, as it showed none of the life of the previous two vintages. Fortunately I have one more bottle left, so I give it another month or two before making a somewhat definitive statement.

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