Wine of the Week: Les Jamelles Sauvignon Blanc Vin de Pays D’Oc


Wine: Les Jamelles Sauvignon Blanc Vin de Pays D’Oc

Grape: Sauvignon blanc

Region: Languedoc-Roussillon, southern France

Vintage: 2012

Price: $9.99

Availability: Lee’s Discount Liquors

In the glass: Les Jamelles Sauvignon Blanc is a bright translucent lemon-yellow color with a touch of a greenish streak from the star-bright core out to a glass-clear meniscus with light to medium viscosity.

On the nose: This wine exudes classic sliced green apples and Bosc pears with lemon meringue pie, pink grapefruit juice, gooseberries and white currants. There are hints of chalky minerals, citrus zest and sea salt as well underlying the apple trend.

On the palate: It is a lovely aromatic wine with a tender crisp entry on the palate with apples, pears, lemon zest, white currant crush and even some green melon. Through the midpalate there is a nicely balanced mouthfeel with harmony between the white fruit and the acidity. It has a fairly nice length on the finish, retaining that exuberant crispness, which gives us a good indication of the quality winemaking behind it. It is just a lovely wine that I happened to try recently, but it gets better in summer.

Odds and ends: Languedoc-Roussillon in the south of France stretches along the Mediterranean coastline from the east where it borders Provence into the west where it comes down to the Spanish border and the Pyrenees Mountains. It is the largest continuously planted wine growing area on the planet and produces more wine than any other place in the world. It is also an area that 20-plus years ago was known only for cheap and often insipid supermarket-type wines.

Many of the country’s pre-eminent winemakers, who have been starting small joint-venture wine productions in this area, helped turn the focus onto quality rather than quantity and the results are sometimes astounding. They just never thought of making something like this Les Jamelles out of the wonderful sauvignon blanc grape vines that grew there, until people like the Delaunays came along from Burgundy in 1991 and contributed to the revolution. This is a delicious and easygoing white wine that should be a charming companion to oysters and seafood. Drink it now through 2015.

Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or email him at gil@winevegas.com.