The blend of white grapes Marsanne and Roussanne produces some fine wines in the northern Rhone. They are characterised as having big flavours with relieving acidity and yet a delicacy of perfume that is unique. These distinctive qualities were identified in Domaine Florentin’s Le Clos, a 2006 St Joseph (12.5%). Only 10% of St Joseph’s production of 5 million bottles is white.
The pale lemon/green colour suggested acidity which was confirmed on the nose. The initial impression was an apple acidity, rather than citrus, but this faded. What was obvious was a perfumed, floral quality to the nose. The palate was big in flavours, drying with the acidity coming through and finishing with an slight almond bitterness which was not unpleasant. Michel Chapoutier claims “The structure is the bittereness” when talking of the Marsanne grape.
This was a lovely wine – interesting, unusual and certainly not showing its 10 years.
[Richard, from Highbury Vintners, at a rather ambitious £23, although now sold out and BBR has the 2007 at the same price. Old white Rhones are not often found on-line so I thought this was worth a punt. Agree with Geoff’s comments and the wine held up well all evening.]