2014 Clos des Augustins Cuvée ‘Joseph’ Blanc, Languedoc, France
Made by Fréderic Mezy, it comes under the long-named protected appellation of IGP Saint Guilhem le Désert – Val de Montferrand.
This Languedoc white wine (Val de Monferrand IGP appellation in fact, to be precise) comes in a rather intense lemon-yellow color with deep bright gold hues, making it look shiny and appealing.
Straight up, as soon as you stick your nose into the glass, the aroma profile also feels deep.
It smells ripe and complex, filled with lusciously ripe citrus fruits, like lemon/orange marmalade, white flowers (e.g. lily and daisy), and a wealth of toasted nuts: macadamia and hazelnut.
Add touches of oaky notes: vanilla and subtle smoke, and you’re in for a complex aromatic profile, but more importantly, a very tempting one!
Put the wine in your mouth and you’re stoke (I was!) by the sheer intensity and gorgeousness that seems to have been stuffed into this white wine.
It’s often said that wine is bottled sunshine. Well, this is the perfect expression of this saying!
The ripe pineapple and lemon marmalade smelled on the nose, literally burst in flavors on the palate, filling it up with a gorgeous sensation of sun-filled and sun-ripened fruits. Sweet spices like nutmeg and clove this impression, like in a good spiced and lemony cake.
Oak flavors are very present, but so well integrated, they provide depth and a world of smoothness through super-silky and discrete soft tannins, and more importantly toasty notes and creamy vanilla.
Solid body and a creamy texture live in this wine, probably from the Chardonnay. But acidity is also vibrant, matching perfectly, for an overall great balance.
It’s dry but the ripeness of the fruit character, and probably the delicately creamy oak as well, provide a touch of perceived sweetness.
Not a Viognier, but It Could Be!
Tasted blind without knowing that it had Marsanne and Roussanne with the Chardonnay, I think would have thought that this white was Viognier-based. It’s so generously fruity and sunny, and quite creamy too. But I guess instead, here, ripe Chardonnay has provided the tropical and citrus jam characters, while the Rhone varietals have been perfectly used to underline the acidity and add touches of salty minerality to the finish.
A truly outstanding white I enjoyed very much for what appears to me as an absolutely well-rounded whole. Powerful yet deep and complex aromatic expressions. Utter balance and refined character.