Thursday, November 15, 2007

Cotes du Rhone Blanc, Domaine Sainte-Anne 2005

When I think of Cotes du Rhone, I think red. But whites from this area have become fresher and better in recent years, and this is always one of the best CDR whites.

Domaine Sainte-Anne is located in Gard, which is cooler than other areas of the Southern Rhone, and the domaine has relatively old vineyards that produce beautiful wines for early drinking or for keeping. I've had Domaine Sainte-Anne's 100 percent Viognier CDR Blanc. At $15/bottle it's a great bargain and one of the best Viogniers produced anywhere outside of Condrieu in the Northern Rhone. This wine, which sells for about $10, tastes to me like it has a good percentage of Viognier.

TN: Very light yellow with good brilliance. The aroma is fresh and lovely with peaches, wild flowers, ripe pears. Subtle in its approach. The flavors are similar. Bright and fresh with enough acid to carry the flavors all the way through. Like Viognier and Muscat, it smells sweet but has a delicacy and dryness on the palate that blends well with buttercup squash soup.

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