2019 Clairette Blanche "Soulstruck"
This is my second go around with this new variety after a microscopic production of it back in 2017 from some fruit out of the Martian Vineyard over in Alisos Canyon. That wine was not shipped to any wine clubs because there was not
enough of it. Clairette is one of those white Rhone varieties that just never seemed to arrive, while at least four of the others did. For years we became accustomed to drinking things like Viognier, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne and Roussanne. Now, finally, the last two or three partners are starting to show up. Along with Clairette, I am also fascinated with Picpoul, and if I can find someone brave (crazy) enough to plant some Bourboulenc, I’d love to play with it as well.
At this point, these varieties are like a delicious study here at the winery.
When I say Clairette, keep in mind this is after being scolded by the US Tax & Trade Bureau for trying not to use the word Blanche along with Clairette. Every time I talk to anyone who knows anything about this grape, they just call it Clairette. Anyway, one of the new signs up in my office says, “It’s the Blanche Stupid”.
What I love about this wine is that, after years and years of making uber rich wines from Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, I now finally have a stylistic bookend. This wine is delicate. It’s leaner. Compared to most everything else I have done, it’s crisp, and it definitely sports that elusive thing that the wine media seems to love to discuss these days, miner- ality. It’s got a slight bit of pear and maybe a teaser of guava. Here is the question; if Babcock made a wine that he loved to chill way down and drink poolside during an Autumn heat heat wave (as if he has time for such things during harvest) what would it be like? Taste this one, you’ll have the answer.