2009 is a year that demands value. Budgets are being cut — at work and at home everyone is looking at ways to be more economical. In the wine world, that doesn’t have to mean that quality takes a hit as well. Everyone knows that you can buy a wine for $30 dollars that is comparable to the quality of a wine that might cost $100 — or a bottle for $11 that rivals a $22 bottle. It just requires a little bit of work to find the best quality values. Though 2009 is still young, I would suggest this is one of the great white wine values of the year.
Guigal’s Côtes du Rhône Blanc is a blend of 55% Viognier with Rousanne, Marsanne, Clairette, Bourboulenc and Grenache Blanc. I opened a bottle last weekend and was impressed by the quality of the wine. Even at twice the price the wine would be a good value. Fresh and floral aromatics of orange blossom and white flowers, honey, stone fruit and tangerine. On the palate, fairly rich and creamy with apricot and white peach and some key lime. Solid acidity and minerality with a clean, polished finish.
I also tasted this along side the Tablas Creek Vineyard Côtes de Tablas Blanc 2006, a California Rhône blend that was a favorite under $20. Though I do like that wine a lot as well, the Guigal Côtes du Rhône Blanc held up extremely well side by side. It was a virtual toss up. Add cost into the decision ($19 versus $11 a bottle) and it would not be a very difficult decision. Obviously, variety and trying new and different wines is the way to go and I would recommend both, but this is a lot of wine for $11 dollars a bottle. The other white wine I would put out there at the under $15 price point is the Mas De Bressades Roussanne-Viognier 2007.
Other white wine suggestions for value seekers?