Special Offer Price - $74.95 per bottle with code BERCBLANC
Our perception of ‘classic’ regional expression inevitably pulls us back to specific impressions of individual wines. It’s tempting to believe that accumulated experience leaves us with increasingly valid composites, though composites always seem too abstract for what is, ultimately, this most tangible of all aesthetic experiences. ‘Classic’ requires uniqueness, and uniqueness implies individuals rather than aggregates.
Gripa ‘is’ St. Joseph in this specific sense. And in particular the cuvée ‘Le Berceau,’ produced in both colors from the family’s oldest vines in the lieu-dit ‘St. Joseph’ near the village of Tournon. Both blanc and rouge go beyond their exceptional quality to incarnate authentic archetypes of their kind.
‘Le Berceau’ Blanc is produced from 100% Marsanne and in its better renditions ages at least as well as its red counterpart. Old vines and barrel maturity give the wine a richly layered feel when young, though the magic comes later. 15 years in the fruit is honeyed but not sweet, with smoke, almond, and vanilla bean nuances. The domaine’s low pH style allows maturity to track tighter and more cohesively than all but a small handful of Northern Rhône whites.
If useful, I find mature Gripa blanc benefits considerably from a slow-ox (no decanting needed, just open a couple hours before drinking). Also, a finishing squeeze of lemon on whatever you’re enjoying alongside goes a long way in keeping the wine animate as it evolves. A plate of grilled squid with pesto and lemon a few night’s back was just perfect.