I could swear I heard PP snicker when I suggested we try a white wine from Languedoc in Southern France. I started getting a lecture about how this area was a huge wine lake providing wine for the working class of Paris and most likely even cheapened by the addition of Algerian wine but PP did mention the wineries there have really upped their game so he suggested a willingness to try a Château Belles Eaux Les Coteaux Grenache Blanc 2020. PP likes Grenache Banc and Rousanne which are part of the blend. PP says these grapes can give a very special quality to wines. Of course his eyes went off like a slot machine with 3 cherries when he heard it was $14.95. After that costly Madoff criminal litigation he was involved with the days of packing his wine cellar with trophy wines are long gone.
There is Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Vermentino and Rousanne in the blend. PP also noted that the soil the grapes are cultivated in includes stone, red clay and alluvial deposits. Alluvial deposits often impart some mouth smacking scratchiness to the palate. Really unique PP says.
The wine has a light gold if not platinum colour. The Grenache Blanc and Rousanne are evident on the nose! On the nose apricot, tangerine, guava, mango and pineapple. On the palate there is that scratchiness that gives the wine some traction and durability. And you get on the palate exactly what you get on the nose with a little anis tucked away in the back palate. The finish is quite long leaving a “heavy impression”. No the wine is not elegant or sleek but in your face and not apologizing for its delicious gruffness. The Vintages catalogue says pair with smoked goat cheese or a grilled-crab salad with ginger and dried orange peel and I can agree with that. I would add a grilled shrimp linguine with pesto!
The Vintages description describes the wine as “Light and Crisp”. No way! This wine is a heavy hitter and a great sipper.
Drink until the end of 2023.
(Château Belles Eaux Les Coteaux Grenache Blanc 2020, Languedoc AOP, $14.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 18665, Château Belles Eaux, Landiras, France, 14%, 750 mL, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 91/100).