Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Challenging White Rhone


So I've had maybe two true white Rhones in my time, the Condrieu that I referred to in an earlier blog that the wife passed on and that I thought tasted of burnt oranges and some other non-memorable wine. The solution? Buy some white Rhones! So when the Flickinger teaser flashed across my email screen I bit, sending Tom an order for an assortment of Rhone Blanc. As is typical, I jammed them in a corner of the cluttered wine room and promptly forgot about trying one. Finally I dug a bottle out and stood it up a couple of days for the test.

The wine is the 2001 Domaine de Vieux Telegraphe, Chateauneuf du Pape, "La Crau" Blanc, 14% alcohol. Other bloggers find Vieux Telegraphe (dr. vino and the winedoctor, for example) to be a high quality below the radar producer of CdP but I haven't tried enough of VT to have an opinion, one way or another. I do know that the "La Crau" designation is window, er label, dressing as all the wines with the VT label say "La Crau." It took a bit of research to discover that a host of different grapes go into this wine, grenache blanc and rousanne, which I know well, and clairette and bourboulenc, which I've never heard of and can not even pronounce. These later two are ancient Mediterranean varietals that are mostly used for blending now, apparently due to various flaws and unpleasant tendencies when produced on a stand alone basis.

Tasting Notes: Apricot and jasmine on the nose, syrupy orange blossoms mid-palate, honey and pears with a bit of petrol on the finish. Rich and mouthwatering, but rather perplexing; intriguing flavors that are difficult to categorize and seem to go in different directions. All in all very enjoyable.

Rating: Excellent, tasty.

Cheers, Barrld

5 comments:

Farley said...

Sounds interesting. The theme of my next winetasting group is white Rhones, and I haven't gone shopping yet. Maybe I'll find this one in my travels.

Barrld said...

Farley--You'll be pleased with the VT Blanc it's has some spirit to it. Let me know what your group thinks . . .

Joe said...

Funny - I had the Red "La Crau" (1998) on Valentine's day. While I have tasted red CdP extensively, I really should try the whites - thanks for the reminder. Cheers!

Barrld said...

Joe--It's a complex wine that has many nuances, certainly worth trying. How was the '98 La Crau??

Joe said...

I was somewhat disappointed with the La Crau red given the price - I have had better CdP at lower prices. Cheers!