Blend: 60% Grenache Blanc, 30% Chardonnay, and 10% Marsanne
The Lafage 2010 Cote Est - comprising, as usual, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Chardonnay, and a bit of Marsanne - is delightfully scented with honeysuckle and iris, and its palate combination of juicy lime with the bite of cress, tangerine rind, and persistent inner-mouth florality put me in mind of some top-notch, lighter Gruner Veltliner. In fact, this harbors 13% alcohol yet finishes with a striking sense of levity, not to mention combining subtle but alluring textural enrichment via the lees with refreshing vivacity and intriguing, mouthwatering hints of iodine and salt. Look for it to prove phenomenally versatile over the next 12-18 months. As explained in issue 183, this blend is assembled as juice (not as wine) following a 12-15 day super-cold but gentle settling period for each variety and lot - just one of the many examples of wholly unorthodox Lafage methods resulting in something extraordinary, here above all in terms of uncanny balance as well as improbable price-quality rapport.