- 1999 Clos Sainte-Pauline Clairette du Languedoc Sus Castel - France, Languedoc Roussillon, Languedoc, Clairette du Languedoc (8/15/2006)
Presented to me blind as something to sip on while I browsed one of my favorite wine shops. The proprietor is good about showing me interesting things and trying to trick me. This is a deep yellow, heading to gold color with a bit of visible richness. One whiff of the nose and I’m immediately thinking mature Loire chenin blanc (slight but pleasant oxidation, sweet baking apples, some lanolin). I could not have been more wrong, and that was evident as soon as I took the first sip. Rich and round in the mouth, balanced but without the vibrant acidity I would have expected from Loire chenin. Fruit on the palate is more ripe apple, macerated white grapes, a little melon. Persistent finish shows peach and almond. Made predominantly from grenache blanc in an intentionally oxidative style, it was enjoyable as a novelty but I’m having a hard time imagining how I would match it with food. Also having a hard time imagining how they were allowed to use the "Clairette" appellation, given composition.
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