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White Grenache power

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Vin de France 2016, Louis d’Or, Le Clos de Caveau ($29.15, private import, 6 bottles/case)
The 15-hectare estate – at 300 metres in altitude, the highest in the Vacqueyras AOC – has been certified organic since 1989. This new cuvée, the estate’s only white and not even listed on its website, is a blend of Grenache Blanc and Clairette from organically farmed young vines. Manually harvested. Fermented with indigenous yeasts. 14.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Vinealis.
Appealing nose of wax, quartz, dust and white spice. Rich and dense, even oily on the palate. Very dry. The pure, ripe, honeyed fruit is carried less by moderate acidity than the powerful-verging-on-hot alcohol, which may also explain the tingling sensation that lingers along with an almost buttery aftertaste. Impressive? Yes. Refreshing? No. Definitely not an aperitif wine. (Buy again? Unlikely, though fans of the style may well feel differently.)

Priorat 2015, 1270 A Vuit, Hidalgo Albert ($31.50, private import, 6 bottles/case)
Unfortunately, no photograph of the handsome bottle was taken. 100% Grenache Blanc. Manually harvested. Given four to six hours’ maceration on the skins. Fermentation and five months’ maturation take place in French oak. Lightly filtered and sulphured before bottling. Residual sugar: 0.35 g/l. 14.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Vinealis.
Enigmatic nose marked by “schist” with hints of petrol and honey apple. Full-bodied, rich and, alcohol be damned, not hot. There’s a beautiful grain to the texture and plenty of acidity. The fruit is ripe-sweet yet the wine is fundamentally – albeit not bone – dry. Winey yet fresh. As another taster summed up, “haunting.” (Buy again? Yes.)

WMG September 14th tasting: flight 4 of 9

Written by carswell

October 30, 2017 at 13:05

2 Responses

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  1. White Priorat was a revelation when I travelled over there back in May and this one seems like one I should try to find.

    Julien Marchand

    October 30, 2017 at 13:16

    • Not that I’ve tasted a ton of white Priorat, Julien, but this is among the best I’ve encountered. Definitely worth checking out.


      November 1, 2017 at 12:47

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