This was one of those wines where I was walking through the wine store and was stopped by A) the label and B) the variety selection. This Cote Est is a white wine blend of 50% Grenache (Blanc and Gris), 30% Chardonnay, and 20% Marsanne.
For those readers that enjoy white wine blends, especially without oak, this is the wine for you. And I found it at a measly $11. (I've seen that normal retail is around $13.) An extra bonus: David Schildknecht from The Wine Advocate (by Robert Parker) actually rated this wine 90 points. [Extra side note: I bought the wine before knowing that.] :)
2010 Cote Est by Jean-Marc Lafage
The D-2010 Scale
2010 Cote Est by Jean-Marc Lafage (Cotes Catalenes (Roussillon), France)
Appearance (10 points possible): Light hay yellow in color. Brilliantly clear - 10 points
Aroma/Bouquet (20 points possible): Fresh floral bouquet with hints of wet pebbles, canned pears and canned pineapples, freshly-picked apricots and zest of lemon and orange peels. - 19 points
Taste (10 points possible): Light-bodied with a zesty citrus and pear flavor and lingering flavors of fresh cut flowers. The wine is smooth, filling, and juicy with a long finish. - 9 points
Balance (5 points possible): This wine is well balanced - lots of flavor, crispness, and just a hint of floral sweetness in the finish. - 5 points
Finish (5 points possible): Lingers for a long time with a filling floral and juicy finish. Very refreshing and flavorful. - 5 points
Packaging *Introduction to the D-2010 Scale*
Quality of Package (5 points possible): Screw capped bottle with bright white label and matching lime green screw cap. This type of package really fits this style of wine. - 5 points
Label Marketability (10 points possible): This wine actually caught my attention because of the tip of the grapevine on the label. And then after my attention was caught, I actually read what was in the bottle. This peaked my interest and caused me to buy the wine. It was only "after the fact" that I realized the wine was French. How's that for marketability? - 10 points
Other (5 points possible): No big extras on this one. - 3 points
Total Points: 96 points
Overall Thought: If you are out looking for unoaked wine blends, here's the wine for you! I loved how intriguing this wine was: from the label through the blend and finished in the glass. This is what wine tasting is all about! I loved the fresh mixture of spring flowers and fruits with hints of crisp minerality (which is all the rage these days). What's really interesting about this wine is the blend. This is quite a different mixture compared to previously-evaluated wines. I highly suggest this gem!
Food Pairings: I like this with roasted chicken and a crisp and fruity salad (perhaps, spinach and pear salad with goat cheese). Or, I'd grab this with a low country boil (see photo below)... Sometimes, these suggestions make me quite hungry!
Splurge Factor (out of 4): 1... If you don't try this wine, you're missing out on the fun and excitement of wine tasting.
Where to buy: If you can't find it in your local retail store, it can be purchased through Wine Library with a thorough explanation from David Schildknecht. Cheers!
Low Country Boil
(Photo by author)