SPECIAL SAMPLER PRICE $154.00
(a 20% discount)
This item does not take further discounts
Chewy, rustic reds have historically enjoyed the spotlight in Provence, and the newfound rosé craze has brought crisp pink wines to the mainstream. But what about les blancs de Provence? A mere four percent of Provençal wine is white, but these rare bottles should not be overlooked. The region’s sun-kissed terroirs feature absurdly poor, rocky soils to which the grapevine is perfectly suited, while the howling Mistral, the pungent garrigue, and the adjacent Mediterranean Sea also exert their distinguishing influence upon local wines. The best whites express succulent, sun-ripened fruit along with floral and herbal notes drawn from their environment. Whereas northern French whites are endowed with slicing natural acidity, those from Provence tend to be softer and plumper-bodied, manifesting a mouth-watering stony or almost bitter note to stimulate the palate instead. Stellar whites in Provence are not bound to a single appellation; its top vignerons are found all across the region. Today, you will discover four of the most exciting examples currently being made.
2016 Côtes de Provence “Blanc de Blancs” • Clos Saint-Joseph $48.00 Roch Sassi’s small domaine is hidden away in a narrow river valley north of Nice, encircled by spectacular limestone mountains. Biodynamic farming and native yeast fermentation (with full malo) yield this stony, creamy medley of Rolle, Ugni Blanc, Sémillon, and Clairette that feels as Alpine as it does Mediterranean.
2017 Bandol Blanc • Domaine de Terrebrune $36.00 Grown in a fresh, breezy corner of the AOC marked by notable maritime influence, Terrebrune’s blanc has the distinction of aging just as well as the domaine’s long-lived Bandol rouge. Delicate and flowery, this blend of Clairette, Ugni Blanc, and Bourboulenc charms in its youth as much as it astounds with bottle age. 2016 Cassis “Bel-Arme” • Clos Ste. Magdeleine $52.00 In the only Provençal appellation where white takes center stage, Jonathan Sack crafts elegant, saline Marsanne-dominated wines from organic vineyards perched over the Mediterranean. This old-vine cuvée was raised in concrete eggs on fine lees, giving a fleshy and complex Cassis that is far more than a simple seafood companion.
2012 Alpilles Blanc “Dolia” • Domaine Hauvette $57.00 A renegade vigneronne conceiving singular cuvées in the shadow of the Alpilles mountain range, Dominique Hauvette is the icon for natural winemaking in Provence. Smoke, wildflower honey, gunflint, and quince feature in this textured blend of unfiltered Roussanne, Marsanne, and Clairette. The finish is reminiscent of pure stone.
Roch Sassi and Constance Malengé of Clos Saint-Joseph
Every three or four months I would send my clients a cheaply made list of my inventory, but it began to dawn on me that business did not pick up afterwards. It occurred to me that my clientele might not know what Château Grillet is, either. One month in 1974 I had an especially esoteric collection of wines arriving, so I decided to put a short explanation about each wine into my price list, to try and let my clients know what to expect when they uncorked a bottle. The day after I mailed that brochure, people showed up at the shop, and that is how these little propaganda pieces for fine wine were born.—Kermit Lynch
Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol
Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/bpa