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.