2015 Sauvignon Colombard, Domaine de Ballade

Different tastes for the palate this evening, including a curry-style catfish made with coconut milk, potatoes, carrots, and fennel, and this 2015 Sauvignon Colombard from Domaine de Ballade. This grapefruity white sounded delicious when described by the staff at my Winestore and it was just as they advertised–a fresh and lemony taste that went just perfect with a hot June evening.

2015 Sauvignon Colombard, Domaine de Ballade, Gascogne, France.

2015 Sauvignon Colombard, Domaine de Ballade, Gascogne, France.

It’s affordable too, and would go on my ‘buy again’ list without any fuss. When you open the 2015 Sauvignon Colombard you immediately get a whiff of (of course, fresh flowers…it’s a damn white) citrus fruit but it is neither tart like a Sauv Blanc or sweet like a Riesling. It’s gentle and enticing, and I found myself going through multiple pours as I tended to the night’s culinary arts.

“On the palate, shimmering creamy citrus notes dominate, with a crisp acidity and a cleansing finish. Enjoy over the next three years, by itself or with all sorts of salads and seafood.”

I heeded these recommendations to a positive outcome. Know that the 2015 Sauvignon Colombard is the brainchild of winemaker Christian Morel and a blend of Sauvignon Blanc (70%) and Colombard (30%) grapes that are aged 5 months in stainless steel tanks. Grab one when you see on the shelves–it’ll be good to have on hand for a summer occasion, planned or unexpected.

 

2014 Cuvée Joëlle White Blend

The Georges Vigouroux winery in France produces the 2014 Cuvée Joëlle White Blend, a new bottle we received in a recent mail order shipment. It’s new to our house and this blog, and I’m still wrestling with my notes to find something worthwhile to pass along here for anyone who was interested enough to click.

2014 Cuvée Joëlle White Blend

2014 Cuvée Joëlle White Blend, France.

My palate for white wine is very unrefined, and that’s a key limitation when sampling a bottle as layered as the 2014 Cuvée Joëlle. It’s a blend of Sauvignon Blanc (60%) and a grape entirely new to me, the Loin De L’oeil (40%). As I do some reading on the latter, I understand it’s the Loin that gives the wine the vibrancy and balance I tasted. Virtually every review of white wine uses “citrus” in some form to describe the wine, and this one should as well. You definitely get some of that in the Cuvée Joëlle. It’s less about flowers and more about fruit notes–yet still reminds me of when you cut into green flower stalks and get a whiff of their chlorophyl?

I can also tell you it’s not as dry as other Sauv Blancs I’ve had, but more dry than sweet. And I have no clue whatsoever a ‘gooseberry’ is in this importer’s description: “This blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Loin De L’oeil gives flavors of gooseberry and citrus with notes of green.” If that means something to you, then great. Just passing along a possible nugget your way.

Have your own opinion of what it means to order a bulk shipment with no previous expectation with the agent or the wines. Me? I think it a new adventure that exposed me to grapes and wines I would likely stroll past in my local wine store. Wines such as the 2014 Cuvée Joëlle White Blend remind you that it’s good to take Frost’s road every now and again.

The Ones That Got Away – Spring 2015 Sampler

2013 Ida's Selection Pinot Noir, Buena Vista, Sonoma County, California, USA; Santa Margherita Prosecco, Italy; 2012 Avant Chardonnay, Kendall Jackson, California, USA; 2013 Avant Chardonnay, Kendall Jackson, California, USA; 2013 Vintner's Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, Kendall Jackson, California, USA; 2013 Ruffino Pinot Grigio Delle Venezia, Italy; 2013 Trivento Malbec Reserva, Mendoza, Argentina.

2013 Ida’s Selection Pinot Noir, Buena Vista, Sonoma County, California, USA; Santa Margherita Prosecco, Italy; 2012 Avant Chardonnay, Kendall Jackson, California, USA; 2013 Avant Chardonnay, Kendall Jackson, California, USA; 2013 Vintner’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, Kendall Jackson, California, USA; 2013 Ruffino Pinot Grigio Delle Venezia, Italy; 2013 Trivento Malbec Reserva, Mendoza, Argentina.

2011 The Count, Founder’s Red Wine, Buena Vista; 2013 Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc

A rare two-for, a his and hers special to accompany a delicious birthday meal at Fleming’s steak house in Charlotte, NC. His is the domestic Cabernet blend; hers is the imported white.

2011/2012 The Count, Founder's Red Wine, Buena Vista, Sonoma County, California, USA.

2011/2012 The Count, Founder’s Red Wine, Buena Vista, Sonoma County, California, USA.

His accompanied a Caeser salad and a medium filet mignon, served on a plate that was even hotter than the steak. The Caesar, amply showered with fresh pepper, had a cool crisp of breadstuff served with it, a buttery treat that was pretty excellent. The dressing was a bit heavy but the steak just buttery smooth. The filet was cooked just about perfect and matched up well with the well-balanced red–an easy selection to make from a favorite Sonoma vineyard. You taste smooth blackberries here, some subtle mild accents too. They are nearly hidden from the palate but come alive as you taste the 2011/2012 The Count.

Her Marlborough-originated Sauvignon Blanc accompanied a Caesar as well. A gossamer of gold in a big fishbowl of a glass, the Loveblock shimmered in the intimate restaurant light and matched the twinkle in my wife’s eyes. It complemented a Chilean sea bass and spicy risotto that seemed just fantastic. The Loveblock, an organic white from New Zealand, is a fresh, fragrant-smelling offering from winemakers Kim and Erica Crawford and is really expressive on the nose. Your author is more of a red fan but appreciated the excellent work here in the 2013 vintage.

We enjoyed these wines–plus a chocolate truffle (with wisps of a great raspberry swirl) dessert and a cheesecake with blueberry sauce–not only to celebrate the occasion but also as a part of Restaurant Week in the Queen City. We’ve had a great time in town over the past week and look forward to next year’s event (and more good wines!) already.