I bought this wine for two reasons: First, fellow blogger Talk-A-Vino had given this particular wine an honorable mention in this post. Second, Nina and I have been on a mission to become Wine Century Club members. For those not in the know, you can become a member in this club once you have tried 100 (hence the century) different grape varieties. It is completely based on an honours system of reporting and membership is free. While I am pretty certain that I have had more than 100 grape varities in my life, I am only counting those that I actively remembered, so I am still a bit short. This wine is a blend of four grapes that I did not have on my list, so it brought us closer with even just one sip…I think it is a fun way to expand our knowledge of grapes and horizons by trying to get to the magic number.
Let me start by saying that I am not the biggest white wine fan, aside from Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Sauvignon blanc. I find a lot of the other whites I try uninspiring and lacking in exciting flavors and aromas. That said, we were excited to try four grapes we had never heard of: Bourboulenc, Grenache blanc, Ugni blanc and Roussanne.
For short, I will just call this La Ferme Julien blanc. I bought the bottle at Trader Joe’s for $5.99. The wine has 13.5% ABV, and, according to its back label, has been blended by the Perrin family, a well respected French négociant. You can find their wines on all levels of pricing and quality. I was surprised to find their name on this wine!
The wine showed a light yellow in the glass, with hints of green. On the nose, it was incredibly fruity: initial notes of yellow apple, peach and floral aromas. Later on I got banana (I think; Nina agreed). It was a really appealing and refreshing nose. On the palate, light bodied wine was dry, rather bland with light citrus aromas and a certain creaminess to it. There was slight strawberry, I think, but for me it was all overpowered by the alcohol, which also left me with some bitter notes at the finish, which I did not enjoy much.
In a way, this wine seemed to highlight my problem with higher alcohol white wines (not reds!): they become too heavy on my palate, when I want something fresh and clean. I felt like this wine would have been great at maybe 12% ABV, but that bit more made it hard for me to like it. The nose was fun, but the taste – not for me.
yes, the finish is assertive…but for those of us who seek the stringency of retsina in a bottle with a screw top and a french label–it’s perfect!
Ha, thanks for that comment, Freddy! VERY true!! That’s why I tried to explain it including my bias…:)
[…] (35%) and Xarel-lo (15%) grapes (YAY, great for our Wine Century Club application – see more here -, three more grapes to tick off!!) and was made in the traditional method of making […]
Get to the Century! It will change your life! We will never catch Anatoli though. He drinks 18 different new varieties every week!
Wine Century Club seems like a fun goal…
Interesting but not very surprising, Ken totally agrees with you about whites. Reading your notes is like listening to him talk.
I’ve never thought about how many varieties of grape we’ve tasted. Maybe someday I’ll start a list (I’m somewhat of a list-addict–but I’ve learned to control it because have to be judicious about my use of time these days. This one, however, is fairly tempting.)
Haha, interesting. I have to meet this Ken! :) Nina is usually even stricter than me in her rejection of whites that are not riesling…
The Wine Century Club has a downloadable pdf file with a number of grapes on them so you can tick them off quite easily. It definitely is fun.
Thanks for the nod! I didn’t try the 2011, but 2010 was quite nice.
I’m glad to see that you also caught the bug of The Wine Century Club – it is a simple challenge which one can gladly instill on oneself : ) And believe me, during your journey towards doppel and trebble levels, you might taste a lot of stuff which you might even find simply insipid… But it is still fun! If this can help in any way, here is a list of all the grapes I went through with the references of the wines I tasted: http://talk-a-vino.com/wines-2/grapes-of-the-world/
Enjoy the ride!
Thanks so much for the list and the encouragement! We have been at it since March, and have definitely actively looked for grapes we have not tried. It is fun, and tasting new stuff is always exciting by itself, even if the wines let you down…I always see your grape count and am stunned. :)