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This fourth year of production for the cuvée Bel-Arme definitively establishes Cassis among the most exciting white wines in production across the Mediterranean basin. It is composed primarily of old-vine Marsanne, growing on steep terraces towering over the sea and fermented and aged in concrete eggs. The aroma is what the French would call gourmand: open, forward, giving; irresistibly floral and fruity. The dry, crisp finish tautly conveys chalk and sea salt—unsurprising, given the vines’ stony seaside habitat.
An old fishing village turned top tourist destination for its mind-boggling scenery, Cassis boasts a local cuisine based upon simple fish preparations. Lunch on the port, with a view of the towering Cap Canaille in the background, might consist of moules marinières (mussels in garlicky white wine sauce), supions à la plancha (sauteed cuttlefish with garlic and parsley), or grilled sardines with a squeeze of lemon. Washed down with a bottle of Cassis blanc, naturally!
|Blend:||60% Marsanne, 15% Clairette, 20% Ugni Blanc, 5% Bourboulenc|
|Producer:||Clos Sainte Magdeleine|
|Vineyard:||50 years average, 1 ha|
|Aging:||Wine is aged in concrete eggs|
I want you to realize once and for all: Even the winemaker does not know what aging is going to do to a new vintage; Robert Parker does not know; I do not know. We all make educated (hopefully) guesses about what the future will bring, but guesses they are. And one of the pleasures of a wine cellar is the opportunity it provides for you to witness the evolution of your various selections. Living wines have ups and downs just as people do, periods of glory and dog days, too. If wine did not remind me of real life, I would not care about it so much.
Inspiring Thirst, page 171