Exciting times, these. It’s been a barnburner of a week ’round here at TWH. What, with the introduction of the 2011 Opalie de Château Coutet, and all. It is a wonderful privilege, albeit a temporary one, to be the only US merchant offering this special wine. Baseball season is winding down to its finale. Though we have no local representation, it is still exciting, nonetheless. I happen to know some folks who still have a horse in the race, and it is my plan to visit a couple of them after work today to catch Game 6 of the AL playoffs. I offered to bring a couple of bottles over, and knowing my friends’ palates fairly well, tonight it’s going to be the 2011 Côtes du Rhône Blanc from Domaine Boudinaud.


We love white Côtes du Rhônes because they are often priced very attractively and deliver big time in the palate pleasin’ department. And we’re not shy to write about them, like we did here.  I mean seriously, I know little bias when it comes to these beauties. If somebody offers me “a glass of 2011 Côtes du Rhône Blanc,” I’m going to say, “yes, please.” Why? It’s because the cool temps at night during the growing season helped the Roussanne and Grenache Blanc achieve vibrant acidity to balance out the fruity profile these varieties impart when blended together. As as matter of fact, it has not been uncommon for me to be seen quaffing the domestic, white Rhône blend at my favorite Marin restaurant. But if you factor in tax and tip, you can get a whole bottle of the 2011 Domaine Boudinaud Côtes du Rhône Blanc for around the same price as a glass at Picco. Okay, so why the Boudinaud? Well, we now directly import several wines from Thierry and Véronique Boudinaud’s stable, because we know them well, and have loved their wines for well over a decade. Thierry is quite the studious winemaker, having worked in New Zealand and California before settling back in the south of France cranking out one of our best quality-for-price lines of wines that we import. The 2011 Côtes du Rhône Blanc is the first vintage that we have ever imported, and it has shot straight to the top of my list of preferred wines coming from Boudinaud. It’s all tank fermented, so it’s very fresh and vibrant. It gets richness and depth from the Roussanne, while the Grenache blanc chimes in with complex aromas and bright acidity; a wonderful combination. At least I love it – With the case price coming in below 12 bucks, I’m shocked it’s still in stock!


So yeah, exciting times indeed! Some fairly regular Saturday customers stopped by today to pick up their Taste Of Burgundy, and asked me what I was writing about. They have made it known that these “Sunday write-ups” are unfair because when they are sent, TWH is closed. So I gave them a little sneak preview of what I was on about today. I’ve got 2 bottles of the 2011 Domaine Boudinaud Côtes du Rhône Blanc chilling in the cold box, and I told them why. Long story short, they picked up a couple bottles themselves and we will all collectively enjoy Game 6 with this tasty wine in our glasses! Okay, short and sweet. I’m probably going to miss the first inning, but more importantly, my gracious hosts’ glasses are empty. It’s time to fill them up with 2011 Côtes du Rhône Blanc! – Peter Zavialoff


Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments on the 2011 Opalie de Château Coutet, Côtes du Rhône Blancs, Bordeaux, or English Football: peter.winehouse@sbcglobal.net