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Winter Wonderland Whites: Think Wine, Regionality, Food, and Famille Perrin Côtes du Rhône Blanc

This intro is for five wines tasted in a series. If you want to just skip to the wine, scroll down for “Famille Perrin Côtes du Rhône Blanc.”

Winter white wines are so scrumptious, with not only dense foods, but also with lighter foods. I don’t think of them so much as seasonal, anymore; i.e., “I only drink red wines in winter and white wines in summer.” That’s as passé as “one can’t wear white after Labor Day.” (Although, my mother is still turning in her grave, on this one…)

Our American society is finally becoming more sophisticated with wine. We’re beginning to realize that wine is an everyday beverage, and many of us are buying into the lifestyle. The more we travel to wine regions, the more we broaden our horizons and the expansion of our taste buds. Many of us have also found our own palates. We’re depending more and more, in this process of deciding what works best for us, and then forging our own memories.

Other opinions are great; we can learn from them. Ultimately, though, it’s on each of us to figure out what works best for our own taste buds. You might find a reviewer whose palate is very close to yours, then you’ve got a consultant.

I love bringing in regionalities, for instance. We connect more to the wines, with more knowledge… Regions are triggers for more enjoyment, on so many levels. This all goes beyond swirl, sniff, and down the hatch. It takes us to somewhere new. The experience I had with the Tablas Creek wine I’ll also be reviewing, for instance… one swirl, sniff, and taste…

I had just been tasting through some import wines. When I tasted one of them, I immediately knew it Californian. I’ve been blessed to have more than my share of California wines. I’ve also stepped outside of the US and gone into other wine regions of the world. Over time, I’m learning the differences. Each terroir is markedly unique. This, in turn, has more than the land determining flavors. It also has to do with practices, the people and their beliefs, and training; but, if I had been blindfolded during this tasting, and asked what location, I’d have said California, in a California second.

The following samples of white wines have arrived. Brands listed below are all unique, and have intriguing flavors in their own right. Flavors, balance, textures were right there for each wine.

 

Let’s Begin: Think Wine, Regionality (including terroir), and then Food

Famille Perrin Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2018

Let’s talk about passion, first. Check out these hands. THIS is a winemaker. THIS is the passion. And THIS was written by Jacques Perrin. (Photo from their Website.)

“To follow your own ideas, sometimes regardless of those of others, is to affirm your identity, at the risk of perhaps being misunderstood – at least for a while.”

A sage with a wink… This is going to be fun…

FROM THE WINERY

Famille Perrin Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2018

Made by the legendary Famille Perrin, who also produces Château de Beaucastel, this Côtes du Rhône is made from traditional varieties.

It is such a delightful mélange of flavors. I savored it, taking a lot of time to find all of the characters in this class act:

  • Grenache Blanc ~ This full-bodied white grape has flavors that delivered the honeysuckle and citrus
  • Marsanne ~ Enter the flavors of mandarin orange
  • Viognier ~ Mango and peach, with a fine olive oil viscosity
  • Roussanne ~ And this one came is with a beeswax, character finish… smooth, round, and delightful.

It’s a complex wine that was so easy to love. (I didn’t need to pair this one with food. It was a drinking, thinking wine.)

The Perrin family are blending masters. This Rhône blend has a rich melange of flavors. It’s round and supple on the palate, with its minerality a delicate addition.

REGIONALITY

From their own words on the Château de Beaucastel site:

  • Beaucastel’s terroir is marked by the Rhone violence. It is made with a layer of marine molasses (sandstone) from the Miocene period, covered by alpine alluvium. The presence of a great number of rounded stones, known as « galets », bear evidence of the time when the Rhone, a torrent at this time, tore fragments of rocks from the Alps and deposited them along its course
  • From UC Berkeley: The Miocene Epoch, 23.03 to 5.3 million years ago,* was a time of warmer global climates than those in the preceding Oligocene or the following Pliocene and it’s notable in that two major ecosystems made their first appearances: kelp forests and grasslands.

FOODS TO PAIR 

This is a wine pairs that pairs beautifully with spicy dishes. Also, white Côtes du Rhônes are delicious when paired with fish dishes, especially with sushi and shellfish.

Next will be Famille Perrin Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2018

SAMPLES: Vineyard Brands has brought us the following wines, including this one… with the exception of the upcoming Nik Weis, brought to us by H.B. Wine Merchants.

 

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