French Kiss Wine, Part One: Start with a Delicate and Slightly Exotic Wine

The Wine of the Week: Château Teulon Roussanne

by Annette Tomei

2016 Château Teulon Roussanne, Costières de Nimes ADP, Saint Gilles, FranceFrench Kiss Wine, 2016 Château Teulon Roussanne

This delicate and slightly exotic vin blanc is the first of three wines in a flight titled French Kiss. I love tasting wines in flights, especially when the sommelier has put some effort (and passion) into creating a story told through the wines. I am looking forward to sharing a few flights with you this summer, welcome to this first sip of French Kiss Wine!

The Teulon family has been growing grapes in St. Gilles since the late 17th century. They are now in their seventh generation. Their vineyards have been certified Agriculture Biologique since 2012. Saint Gilles is in the Costières de Nimes, the southernmost appellation in the Rhone (also known as the Rhone Delta). Until 2004, this appellation was considered to be part of the Languedoc.

This wine contains 100% Roussanne, a white grape tinged with reddish-gold. More typically, we find it in a blend with Marsanne, the other popular regional white grape. This grape is native to southern France where it thrives in the heat of long (dry) sunny days.

About this Wine

It took a moment for this wine to open in the glass, but as it did, a sprightly aroma of lime zest and white flowers bloomed. Delicate tea-like aromas, along with the flavor of lime zest had me thinking of Proust’s madeleines. The exotic flavors of lemongrass and Asian pear that followed took me away to most distant lands. There is a pleasantly tart burst of acidity with a stone-mineral finish.

Like most classic Old World wines, this one is even better with the right food. I enjoyed it with a country pâté, rich with pistachios, and some bright green olives. I suspect, though, that it may be at its best with a selection of chilled seafood – Dungeness crab, lobster, shellfish simply dressed with citrus or a drizzle of fresh olive oil.

The Verdict

After many years of not drinking enough Roussanne, I’m happy to discover this smart and casually elegant wine. It is a medium bodied (13% ABV), moderately priced ($11/bottle average) white for all seasons that will hold its own at your table. It’s also an excellent beginning to a flavorful journey through lesser-known French grapes – as you will discover as the next few weeks of our summertime flight of fancy continues!

For more about where I enjoyed this and other flights, please visit here.

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