another sauvignon blanc
My comsumption of whites falls mainly into two camps: French-style sauv blancs by a long shot (not those NZ style tropical bombs...yuk!), followed by a smattering of lower-end white burgundies. Recently I have been purchasing Ferrari-Carrano Fume Blanc on sale. This is a Sonoma wine labled with the marketing ploy of calling it a fume blanc instead of sauv blanc when the "smokiness" is added by way of oak, sur-lie aging...thank you very much Mondavi. The F-C is 33% French oak and 67% stainless. It's a nice wine, no doubt. However, every once in a while one needs the "real deal," the fume sans oak. Sure you can find that from Chilean producers, but it's great to stumble across an affordable neighbor of the Loire's premium appellations Pouilly Fume and Sancerre. If you're looking for that flinty, dry minerality with just the right amount of sauv blanc fruit, consider wines from the appellation Reuilly. I bought this Domaine Henri Beurdin et Fils at Mustard Seed Market in Solon, Ohio for seventeen USD. It's a really nice budget white.
In Praise of Roussanne
I'll buy more of the Reuilly and more of the aforementioned CA fume. Still, it's nice to take a break from the usual and refresh the palate with something else. Why do I forget about Roussanne? I love this varietal when from sunny, hot climes that give it body and color. Look to the southeast wine country of France young man! I can't afford Chateauneuf-du-Pape (their white is largely roussanne). No. I picked up this Verget inexpensively at Whole Foods. Verget, Jean-Marie Guffens' negociant company, which famously makes burgundies, produces wines from the Vaucluse as Verget du Sud (makes sense), trucking them up to Sologny to do this, but never mind. This wine does not have that bone dry minerality (structure) I adore. Rather, there is a bit of assertive straw and herb with a touch of sweetness, while remaining on the whole a dry wine. It hangs in the mouth a bit, too. I mean that it has good body and a pretty long finish for a white, but still clean. It may be somewhat limited for food pairings, not quite dry enough for rillettes de porc, but something less fattening, it should go well. Try it with roast chicken (if you've not already opened a lightly chilled Brouilly) or better yet, seafood. If you do give this Roussanne a try, let me know what you think.