2012 Château de Raousset Beaujolais Blanc
Cuvée Marquise de Robien
Recently, at the end of another busy day, our staff locked up the shop and headed for the tasting room to get to know a couple of new arrivals. One of them was a red wine from a region in France famous for its white wines, and the other was a white wine from a region mostly known for its reds. The white wine was the 2014 Beaujolais-Villages Blanc from Château de Raousset. We don’t hear much about Beaujolais Blanc as it typically only represents 1% of the region’s annual production. Almost all Beaujolais Blanc is made from Chardonnay, however Aligoté is allowed, provided the vines were planted prior to 2004. For their Cuvée Marquise de Robien, the Raousset Beaujolais Blanc is 100% Chardonnay. It’s often a challenge to remain free from expectation when evaluating new wines, as David continues to find outstanding new wines from both new and established producers time and time again on his tasting trips to France each year. We’ve carried Beaujolais Blanc in the past, most recently one from the 2009 vintage.
With that distant memory in mind, we popped the corks of the two unusual-for-their-appellation wines and proceeded to taste. Whenever I taste red and white wines at the same time, I like to taste the reds first. This gives me a clearer perception of the acidity in the reds before moving on to the whites. One of the reasons we all taste at the end of the day is that we can all taste the wines together, at the same time. We share our perceptions and ideas, good or bad, and sometimes we all agree, and sometimes we don’t. When we tasted the 2014 Raousset Blanc, it was unanimous; we all loved it! And what’s not to love? It’s pure, unadulterated Chardonnay. No oak, no butter. Pure Chardonnay fruit. A customer walked in today as I began this writing assignment, and she inquired if it had a significant citrusy profile. Though there is a tiny hint of citrus, it has more of a fleshy fruit mouth feel. Anya hit the nail on the head when she described its fruit component to be more reminiscent of a white nectarine. It’s fresh and crisp, and those white fruit flavors pop along with the wine’s racy acidity. All in all, if one factors in the scarcity of such wine and its low price (especially by the case), it probably won’t be around long.
So there we all were in the tasting room, yet another winner on our hands, talking shop and talking about sports. It’s an exciting time of year. Our local basketball team has a chance to win their first title in 40 years. We’ve been lucky in the baseball world in recent years, the UEFA Champions’ League final was played today, and after a 37 year wait, horse racing has a new Triple Crown winner. We had the race streaming live here at TWH headquarters and several customers watched the race with us, leading me to exclaim, “You’ll always remember where you were when American Pharoah won the Triple Crown!” Sometimes, we’re more than just your neighborhood wine shop! – Peter Zavialoff