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Monday, December 16, 2013

Cuilleron Villard Gaillard 2008 Les Vins De Vienne Saint-Péray

Saint-Peray 002This wine arrives from the Saint-Péray appellation of France’s Rhone Valley. Rhone is well known for their delicious red wines made with Syrah and Grenache – but some outstanding whites hail from the area as well.

I bought this bottle because my online order of some Cabernet was just short of the amount needed to qualify for discounted shipping. I added this bottle for $10.99 and cut my shipping cost down to just $5.

This Saint-Péray was then stored in our wine chiller. The other night Green Dragon was wrestling with the lights on our Christmas tree and she said, “I’m gonna need some wine for this.” I scampered downstairs and returned with this bottle.

The three main white grapes in Rhone are Marsanne, Rousanne and Viognier. Of these, I’m partial to Viognier. This Saint-Péray is 100% Marsanne, which I rarely sample. Although some Marsanne is planted in the US, the largest acreage of Marsanne is in France.

In the glass this wine is rich gold with green highlights. It’s a medium bodied wine with more fullness than you might expect. On the nose there is faint aroma of toast and tropical fruit.

The flavor of Marsanne is rustic – big and somewhat unrefined. I envision this wine being quaffed in the French countryside with some local cheese during an impromptu picnic.  It has minerality as well as a tanginess with melon flavors mingled with earth and tropical fruit.

Unlike the vast majority of whites, this wine can be aged, which allows the Marsanne to take on deeper color and flavors.

For only $10.99 this was a tasty departure from Chardonnay. It’s not a life-changing wine, but it is refreshing – and our Christmas tree now is well-decorated with working lights.

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Rating: 2.5 of 5  Value: 3.5 of 5

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