Honey, Flowers, and Green Tea: New Crozes-Hermitage Blanc. $25

The only wine of its kind in our cellar.

Denis Basset is best known for his rich pure Syrahs from Crozes-Hermitage. They’re delicious, well priced, and pulsing with energy and life. For years our only look at his lone white cuvée was in his barrel room – just a splash “to set the palate” before moving on to the reds. The white was always lovely — floral and fresh, beautifully expressive, and a perfect way to start a tasting.

But it was so popular in Parisian restaurants that it was years before he offered us any; now we thirstily buy all of our small allocation each year. It’s the only wine of its kind in our portfolio – rounder and more tropical than white Burgundy; more tension than Condrieu; more softness than our Loire whites. An usual and charming aperitif white.

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 perfect winter white wine, with bright citrus to match rich foods, but a cozy, mouthcoating softness that makes it hard to put down. Serve some with a salty triple cream cheese and crusty bread.


Saint-Clair Crozes-Hermitage blanc 2020
bottle price: $25

Add to Cart