An unusual white that’s wintery….

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

[In song]
On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me a
n unusual white that’s wintery!

There’s been big debate in the wine world over the use of heavy weight bottles for so called Icon wines; you know the ones I mean, they look like they should be playing rugby with their overly broad shoulders and have a massive dent or punt in the bottom.

The use of these mega bottles can be a way of marketing your wine to seem more special than it is in a manner of “it must be good, look at the bottle!” I often regard it as an expression of a winery’s insecurity, think of some of the most expensive bottles in the world from the likes of Bordeaux and Burgundy, none of them are ponced up in oversized glass. Which is what makes this bottle of Terres Viognier-Chardonnay 2011 Domaine de la Baume* unusual. Firstly Viognier-Chardonnay blends are not all that common and secondly it’s from the Languedoc in the South of France and the French just don’t do macho bottles.

In this case though it just about works, because blended white wines are often perceived as less expensive and inferior to their single grape variety peers, but the intensity and punch this white gives needs communicating before you taste it.

A blend of the floral and fruity Viognier and oaks’ partner in crime Chardonnay this wine is full and oaky, warming and wintery with toasted nuts on the nose, a faint warmth & sweetness of steam ginger, smoky dried apricot skins, and a comforting marmaladey character on the finish. Savour it when the presents are open and the chaos of Christmas Day has been replaced with calm, drink it while reflecting on your presents safe in the knowledge that great things also come in big packages!
* Available from A+A Wines, IWBC Peter Graham,  RRP £19.99

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