Through 3 Whites, the Art of Blending Wines

Rather than dwell on the ’17, I’d rather talk about the 2020, which was exactly as it was meant to be, energetic and straightforward, wit...


Rather than dwell on the ’17, I’d rather talk about the 2020, which was exactly as it was meant to be, energetic and straightforward, with crisp acidity, fresh fruit flavors and a creamy texture, not complex but delicious and refreshing.

It was a blend of five Rhône grape varieties: Grenache Blanc (40%), Viognier (21%), Roussanne (19%), Marsanne (15%) and Clairette Blanche (5%). This blend can change from year to year, depending on the character of the vintage. Unlike the tired ’17, which tasted mostly of the tropical fruits of Viognier, the ’20 was a homogeneous whole.

Like the Patelin, the Boxler is also intended for occasional consumption, but the ’18 was at its peak. Edelzwicker is an Alsatian term for a blend that traditionally included only the lesser white grapes from the region. Nowadays, since it is not regulated, everything is allowed. As with Tablas Creek, the blend changes depending on the vintage.

Although the grapes mixed well in the ’18, I could smell the individual qualities – the flowery muscat, the mineral riesling, the textured richness of the pinot blanc and auxerrois. It was simple and easy, well balanced with perhaps a touch of residual sugar emerging as the wine warmed in the glass. I thought it was awesome, a good wine for a casual lunch with friends.

It was perhaps unfair to compare the first two wines to Bouscaut. It’s a different kind of wine, serious rather than casual, and built to evolve with age. It’s a roughly equal blend of two grape varieties, with just a little more Sauvignon Blanc than Semillon.

Unlike the other two blends, which may be made up of what’s left after the producers blended their more ambitious vintages, this is Bouscaut’s best white. It is fermented and aged in oak barrels, 40 percent new, leaving a woody imprint that nonetheless integrates well with the spicy, floral and beeswax qualities of the wine. As with the Tablas Creek, it was a smooth blend, although I still feel I can smell the rich, waxy texture of the Semillon. It is only just beginning its evolution.

In my introductory columnI mentioned that red blends were more famous and mentioned much more often in general wine conversations than white blends. Readers were ready to cite many examples of white mixtures that I had not considered.

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