Rhone Zone Spotlight: Tardieu-Laurent 2008 Guy Louis Blanc

You're now traveling to another wine country destination, a destination not only of sight and sound but of the vine; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of export. That's the signpost up ahead — your next stop, the Rhone Zone. —Rod Serling

Isn't that how Mr. Serling introduced the second season of the Twilight Zone? No, okay, but for some no doubt a timeless show which in many respects was way ahead of its time. It was gritty sci-fi drama which made many take pause and perhaps even some thought about the mortal-coil that we all tread upon. Oh boy, that was some heavy-S. Okay yes, I took some artistic license with the opening monologue, but I did so with the best of intentions, I heard there's a paving company helps folks get there.

The intent, if ever so briefly, to transport you to another time and place. One you may have no doubt heard of before, but one you may not have had that much experience with on a regular basis. The boundaries of export and import open the path of wine discovery. So when you do have a chance explore, do so with reckless abandon, the Rhone Valley is a vast and luscious vine-covered landscape; one which will richly reward your palate both now and fart into the future.
If you've never taken a visit to the Rhone-Zone, as I like to call it; then folks this is your ticket to ride. It's a style of wine that will come out, shake your hand and you'll become fast friends. It will leave you wondering why you had not met sooner. The Cotes du Rhone moniker on the label indicates an the Rhone Valley's most extensive production area, producing a broad range and styles of wine from the southern end of the valley.

You'll find in this wine, a style which makes food pairing choices so easy and wonderfully fun. I can't imagine too many things that would not pair well with this remarkably well-made wine from a stellar vintage. Typically, my red to white wine quotient tilts to the red side, but when it comes to white wines like the one pictured above, I'm all about it.

The first things I noticed about this wine, amazing structure and complexity and some nice weight to it as well. It has a great vein of acidity running through the ample fruit, giving it a nice lift. The abv is a surprisingly low, but welcomed 12.5%, considering the blend 60% Marsanne, 20% Roussanne, and 10% Grenache, produced from vines 50 years and older.

The color as you can see is quite striking, grabbing you by the nose is just hint honeyed wet stones aromas and white peach, which don't really jump from the glass, but still gets your attention. This wine offers up an inviting lychee nut, a bit of almond, white-currant liqueur, bit of chalk, and apricot marmalade spread on toast. This wine is really stunning, honeyed, and a bit flamboyant [but without the open shirt and gold medallion].

This wine is very clean and focused. It would pair nicely with many foods, but something like a delish white-sauce pasta dish would be a good match, and I found one here that sounds fantastic. I scored this wine 91 points and highly recommend that you give it a swirl yourself very soon, until next time, sip long and prosper cheers!


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