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Southern Rhône, France

Domaine des Espiers Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2014

Clairette 60%, Roussanne 40%
Organic Status:
13.50% (Number on label may differ)
One of our favourite winemakers of Gigondas and Côtes du Rhône, Philippe Cartoux, makes just 2,000 litres of a delicious white by using two complementary grapes: the Clairette gives freshness and finesse and the Roussanne gives fruit and fat. The wine is fermented and aged in old barriques with the malo allowed to add complexity and depth as well as softness. As with Espiers reds, this white offers aromatic richness with a refreshing drinkability at the same time.
Tasting Notes:
This has a wonderfully cool, fresh nose of lemon, grapefruit and baked apple, fennel and white pepper with a streak of pineapple & exotic fruit and toast lending depth and complexity. The palate is bone dry, smooth and creamy soft, almost oily yet cool and refreshing, and possesses a long, persistent, complex finish.
Vintage Notes:
2014 was another complicated year in the Southern Rhône, the sort of testing year that sorts out the great vignerons from the ordinary. Until the end of June the weather was extremely dry and very warm. Prospects for the harvest looked good. But the summer was wholly disappointing with endless bouts of rain and cool weather. It was difficult to gain maturity but on the other hand, the freshness was excellent. As a result the wines have lower alcohol, less density and complexity, and more freshness than usual, all of which amounts to delicious drinking wines from the best vignerons.
Philippe's Blanc comes from just half a hectare in Sablet planted in 1995. It's within the Appellation Sablet but Philippe has de-classified it to Côtes-du-Rhône because he simply likes the idea of selling Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc more than Sablet Blanc! The vines lie on clay sand soils at around 150m altitude facing south west and are farmed organically. The Mediterranean climate is tempered by the Mistral wind.
The grapes are hand harvested in early September at full maturity. Whole bunches are very gently pressed over 8 hours into stainless steel tank to settle at around 10ºC. The fermentation starts in stainless steel tank, using wild yeasts, then is moved to old barriques of 4 and 5 years to complete. The malo is allowed to happen naturally and the wine ages 5 months in barrel before bottling.
3,000 bottles (250 cases)
Product Code:
¥3,456 / bottle SRP inc. tax

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