A few months back your Wine Guys (and Gal) were out at a favorite French bistro, and one wine caught all our attention and had us reaching out to distributors the next day. It wasn't the single-vineyard Chateauneuf, or the aged Cote Rotie.
It was a humble, but unique and elegant, white wine from France's Savoie region. Nestled in the foothills of Mont Granier, the unique Jacquierre grape makes some lovely wines, light, bright, and racy, easy-drinking yet with stunning complexity for the price.
We offered one out at the time, and demand was overwhelming! Folks kept asking for more, and I've been on the hunt for another beauty ever since.
Found it. Popped open the bottle with the staff here, and once again everybody went nuts. We've got 8 cases in stock, and if this goes anything like last time it'll be gone by tomorrow! Please reply to order.
Beatrice Bernard Palais Apremont Vielles Vignes 2010 - $14.39 net - 90 pts Wine Advocate
This is super pretty and floral on the nose. Not wild floral like Torrontes or Viognier, for me just the right amount of white flowers, magnolia and apple blossom. A little "come-hither" but not a blatant come-on.
In fact there's nothing intense about this wine - everything it does is subtle and with finesse. I love the wet stone, flinty mineral and limestone character, yet it's not to be confused with chalky Chablis.
The fruits are well-defined and juicy, lots of ripe green apple, white peach, and pear. Appealing and pleasing, then it hits you with that racy, cool Alpine acidity, just the right about of nervosity to make the tongue tingle.
Nervosity? OK, maybe I'm reading too much David Schildknecht, the Wine Advocate's expert on wines from this region, known for his florid prose. My point is there's perfect acidity to pair with a wide range of foods, from shellfish to fatty sausages. We had ours with a charcuterie plate and it matched with the pates, mustards, cheeses, and cornichons with equal aplomb.
Here's Schildknecht's review - you can see what I mean - and please try out your Wine Guys' newest cool white!
"Beatrice Bernard sends just a single cuvee to the U.S. each year, which is the 2010 Apremont Vieilles Vignes I tasted. (It has "L10" in tiny letters on the side of the label, which may or may not be an unambiguous lot designation; in any case, if you buy a Bernard 2010 in the U.S., this will be that wine.) A lovely, penetrating nose of Comice pear, fraise du bois, raw almond, and lily-of-the-valley also intimates the chalk and crushed stone that then suffuse juicy fresh pear on the palate. The tactile stimulation of pear skin and unexpected charm of tiny strawberries persist into a lip-smacking, salt- and stone-tinged finish. Enjoy this excellent value over the next 12-18 months.
Somehow Beatrice Bernard had never made it onto my radar screen until her importer early this year made me aware of my neglect. Non-malo tank fermentation with at least 4 months on the fine lees seems an unexceptionable approach in the cellar, but it's clear on the evidence of the one wine I tasted that Bertrand must be taking great care in the vineyards, exactly where you would expect it to count most."