Vin de Madame la Comtesse de Montfaucon Côtes du Rhône Blanc (Clairette) 2014
Clairette is one of southern France’s oldest white grape varieties and known for flavors of fennel, apple, lime, apricot and peach. For years, Rudi dreamed about purchasing this exquisite vineyard planted in the 1870s and finally it became reality. Yep, these gnarly old vines are approaching 150 years and produce very restricted yields while producing some of the richest most concentrated Clairette in the entire Rhône Valley. Planted on a mix of sand, clay and pudding stones, this wine is the essence of sleek minerality. A touch of barrel fermentation adds volume and structure. The flavors resonate with ripe stone fruit flavors and white flowers, a touch of anise rounds out the finish. To be genuinely frank, there really isn't much ancient, vineyard acreage like this to speak of any more in the southern Rhône so you can imagine how ecstatic Rudi was to get his hands on this historical plot. The regal Vin de Madame la Comtesse reminds us of Chateau de Beaucastel's Chateauneuf Vieilles Vignes Blanc but you'll be forking over $100 to get a taste of that bottle. Hmm, seems like an easy decision.