I almost never talk about “budget-friendly” wines. But this bottle caught my eye when I was doing research (yeah, that’s it) for another project I’m working on. Besides, spring is around the corner and it’s time to start searching for my summer out-on-the-patio wines.
I was at Fresh & Easy in the wine section looking for a ringer pink wine for an upcoming Rosé tasting I’m having as well as the above-mentioned project. While I didn’t get any pink while there, I did see this interesting bottle of white. It was a 2010 El Côtes du Paso Robles. The varietals are all listed on the front of the label – 46% Viognier, 31% Roussanne, 8% Marsanne, 15% Grenache Blanc – all Côtes du Rhône whites.
How could I resist? Especially for $6.99. What a steal. I purchased it immediately.
Well, after I spent too much money yesterday on a couple of extra Rosés (I only need six; somehow I ended up with twelve-I’m obsessed), I realized that I had spent my restaurant review money and had to prepare my own dinner. Hated to mess up the clean kitchen, but oh well. I had a nice piece of wild-caught sockeye and a tossed salad of mixed baby greens with heirloom tomatoes. I took the wine out of the wine cooler and put it in the freezer. Just for about twenty minutes or so. I popped open the cork and poured it into the glass.
First of all, I was impressed with the viscosity of the wine. It sort of lumbered around the glass like cooking oil. Of course, its 14.2% alcohol content may have something to with that – pretty hefty for a white wine. I couldn’t immediately detect anything discernable on the nose. However, I’d just taken it out of the fridge so I figured the nose was muted. I tasted it and grinned. Lots of pear, apple, nuts, and a touch of honey. Shocking complexity for a $6.99 wine. The mouthfeel is what got me. It was full-bodied and mouthfilling.
After I’d drunk a couple of glasses (my pours, not restaurant pours), I relaxed in front of the tv for a while. A couple of hours later, I stuck my nose in the glass and was greeted by fragrances of flowers (just a generic flowery fragrance), pear, and nuts. Very muted, but there, nevertheless. I learned this secret many years ago when I had to go searching for hidden spots of dried puppy piddle. Easier to find than when fresh. Really!
So that’s my quickie review of a surprisingly nice and budget-friendly Rhône varietal-based white wine by this red-wine lovin’ wine drinker. Yes, I will buy more, and I would happily share this with a serious wine drinker. And hope that s/he would be as surprised as I was. Not a life changer, but definitely recommended.
Just in – I found by accident that this modest little white wine was a gold medal winner in the San Diego International Wine Competition last year!