Chateau Simone, Palette Blanc 2014Regular price $70.00 Save $-70.00
Variety: Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Ugni Blanc, and Muscat
It always amazes me that certain regions gain much more fame than others, even though there are some incredible wines off the beaten path or in many regions one would not associate quickly with quality. When I talk about Provence France, many people just think of fancy boats and stunning views. However, Chateau Simone—from the appellation Palette, just north of Aix-en-Provence and only miles from the water—creates world-class wines that deserve a place at the table with many of the great estates. The appellation is dominated by limestone soils that cover the vineyards of many famed regions. The weather allows for incredible vine age to happen. Disease doesn't happen often in this part of the wine world. The climate is perfect and it is the dream of many to retire and spend the remainder of their lives in this magical part of the world.
Domaine Lafond, Tavel Rose 2020Regular price $22.00 Save $-22.00
Variety: Syrah, Grenache, Clairette, Picpoul, and Bourboulenc
Multiple generations of Lafond winemakers date back to 1780. The family forms much of the current identity of the appellation of Tavel. In addition to their rose production, the family also produces Cote-du-Rhone, Lirac, and Chateauneuf du Pape. Not only are the wines among the region’s best, but the value is hard to beat. Their farming is certified organic. Says microbiologist Lydia Bourguignon, "Wine is like a concert: The land is the score, the vine is the instrument and the winegrower is the musician.”
Tavel is the only appellation in France to focus solely on rosé production. The blend is classic southern Rhone style with Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah coming together from organic vines over 40 years in age. The wine ages in both stainless steel and large used barrels.
Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup, Languedoc Cuvee Sainte Agnes Blanc 2017Regular price $30.00 Save $-30.00
Variety: Roussanne, Clairette, Marsanne, and Grenache Blanc
Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup has quite the legend following it. In medieval times, there were three lords of the Languedoc entranced by the beauty of a princess. She vowed to give herself to the most gallant, Christian man. The lords traveled to Jerusalem on a crusade to defend the tomb of Christ; upon returning, they discovered the princess’ death. In their grief, they each retreated to nearby mountains, living their lives as hermits. “Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup” translates to a hermit dwelling; Saint Loup Peak was named for one of the princess’ suitors. The three Ravaille brothers now operate the winery, their family having lived in the Languedoc for over 1000 years. The emblem of three fish not only reiterates the story of the three suitors, but also the fraternal bond of the three brothers.
This cuvee blends together the whites varieties that thrive in this Mediterranean and mountainous area of Pic Saint Loup. Vines range from 15 to 80 years in age. The white is aged in barrels for ten months. Even though the wine is from Pic Saint Loup, white wines have not been granted the Pic Saint Loup AOC designation here, and instead are labeled the regional “Languedoc.”
Gassier, Nostre Pais Blanc 2017Regular price $23.00 Save $-23.00
Variety: Grenache Blanc, Roussanee, and Clairette
Michel Gassier is a man of many intricate traits. Michel and his wife, Tina, form the identity of Domaine Gassier, believing that their craft should come from a place of teamwork. He considers himself a “peasant-researcher.” His peasant side is derived from his genes while the researcher part reflects his own sense of character. Clearly inspired by the terroir of his vineyards and intervening as little as possible, inspiration comes from many of the international winemakers he meets. He takes notes from other winemaking methods and blending styles, consistently furthering himself to learn more and more.
The Nostre Païs Blanc is an expression of purity and balance. Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Clairette, Viognier, and Bourboulenc come together in a fresh Mediterranean blend. The wine ages for eight months on the lees, and in half oak and half cement.
Railsback Freres, Clairette Blanche 2020Regular price $35.00 Save $-35.00
Variety: Clairette Blanche
The story of two brothers: even while still in high school, Eric was already collecting bottles of prized top dollar Burgundy and Chablis, hiding them under his bed when he started college. Lyle’s quest for knowledge landed him in Austria where he met one of his most important friends in the industry, sommelier Rajat Parr. After a decade of restaurant work, Eric returned to Santa Barbara to start his own project, Lieu Dit, inspired by the Loire. Older brother Lyle had also worn many hats in the industry, ultimately landing a job for one of the most esteemed importers Kermit Lynch, leading regional sales. After leading separate lives for some time, the brothers both felt a calling to merge their two paths, which is how Railsback Frères came to be born.
Inspired by the seaside village of Cassis in Provence, this Clairette Blanche takes on a completely waxy, saline and minerally tone. The fruit comes from Nolan Ranch in Santa Ynez. The ageing process is very similar to the Provencal style: wild yeast fermentation and a lengthy time spent in neutral oak.