“Épuisé.” At the start of every tasting, Rhône winemaker Denis Basset gives us small taste of white. “Just to set the palate,” he explains, before continuing on to his rich, syrah-based reds. The white is always lovely — floral and fresh, beautifully expressive, and a perfect way to start a tasting. And every year, when we ask how much we can buy, he smiles and shakes his head. (Loyal local restaurants are to blame).
This year, finalement, we were able to purchase some. Alas, after it was released in April our readers found it as lovely as we did, and we sold out of our entire stock in a day or so. We quickly wrote Denis, and after a bit of hand wringing he managed to find us a few more cases. For those of you who were lucky enough to grab some this spring, the wine needs no introduction. For those who were shut out, here’s your chance to see what all the fuss was about.
Exotic. Denis Basset runs the Domaine Saint-Clair, which he started several years ago after spending the first decade of his working life in the family’s flower business. He has rapidly gained confidence and acclaim; both Decanter and the Guide Hachette have listed him in a dynamic new generation of Crozes-Hermitage winemakers.
Basset’s white is a Rousanne-Marsanne blend (70/30), in the style of a classic northern Rhône. The nose is soft and enveloping, with tropical notes of mango, pineapple, and green tea. The mouth is rich and round, but well balanced, showing nectarine and honey notes. There’s so much exotic fruit in the nose you almost expect this to be sweet, but the mouth finishes cool and soft and dry.
This is a lovely glass for the fall — with bright citrus to match a late summer dinner, but a mouthcoating softness that will carry you into autumn.
SAINT CLAIR Crozes-Hermitage blanc 2014
Ansonia Retail: $26
offer price: $22/bot
AVAILABLE IN 6- AND 12- BOTTLE LOTS
or call Tom: (617) 249-3657
Sign up to receive these posts in your inbox:
Terms of sale. Ansonia Wines MA sells wine to individual consumers who are 21 or more years of age, for personal consumption and not for resale. All sales are completed and title passes to purchasers in Massachusetts. Ansonia Wines MA arranges for shipping on behalf of its customers upon request and where applicable laws permit.