I have recommended this outstanding newish producer before here but have just tasted the latest vintage of the white wine and can thoroughly commend it to anyone looking for a really interesting, flavour-packed, serious dry white – a possible alternative to the white burgundy nightmares currently being discussed at such length on our members’ forum.
I was very impressed by the 2005 of this wine which has been drinking well for a good year now. The 2006, a little more austere, is just opening up but the Ch St-Préfert 2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc seems awfully plump and lovely even now. A positive embarrassment of choice really.
This is the first time I can offer you a video of the maker of our wine of the week. The UK importer A&B Vintners have a series of short interviews with many of their more interesting suppliers and here is the glamorous ex-banker Isabel Ferrando (pictured extremely blurrily here) who makes this wine talking about this very one. The 2007 vintage is 75% Clairette, a grape variety I am enjoying more and more, and 25% Roussanne, all vines being particularly ancient.
There is no shortage of body on this wine – which weighs in at 13.5% – but the acid level is quite enough to keep it lively for now (though I would drink it over the next year). But it’s the aroma that is this wine’s great attraction: a heady blend of honeysuckle, blossom – though not as obviously perfumed as Viognier – and real rigour with a hint of tonic astringency on the finish. I wrote: 'Awfully good. Rich without being fat. Great herb oil notes with some spring flowers and real density on the palate. Grown up wine.'
A&B Vintners list it at £24.78 a bottle and can offer it in magnum too. It seems particularly well distributed in the US.