Standout bottles and modest price points don't always align, and when they do there's often not enough wine to be able to offer it to all of our customers. Whenever we do find these bottles that overdeliver, there's normally just enough to fulfill orders for our wine club members and maybe a few extra bottles get to hit our shelves. That last sentence was an intentional shameless plug, so fell free reach out to us about joining one of our awesome wine clubs! When we're tasting, our staff's palates don't always align either, but they unanimously did with today's 2022 Roc des Anges 'Llum' Côtes Catalanes Blanc offer.
The Côtes Catalanes has quickly become one of my go-to regions for overachieving wines, especially whites. Since its IGP designation allows for a multitude of grapes to be planted here, there is definitely quality variance, but the Macabeu and Grenache Blanc and Gris that grow here are truly special: the fruit typically resides in the melon family and there are usually lovely floral aromas competing for your attention. These are usually notes that I find in Northern Rhône wines, which are usually much higher in alcohol, concentration and, given its scarcity, much more expensive. Northern Rhône wines are exceptional, make for gorgeous food pairings, but since they are such a mouthful, my main criticism is that I find it difficult to enjoy more than 1 glass on its own. Today's wine trims the fat off of Rhône whites in a way; I've been jokingly referring to it as 'Diet Rhône' since the world needs more confusing wine terminology.
'Llum' opens with enticing notes of honeydew melon, cataloupe, gardenias, iodine, chamomile and sea breeze. The palate introduces a charged, yet soft acidity that carries a mineral-rich concentration. As the weight of the wine threatens to take over, the acidity kicks in once again to gently introduce a lengthy, savory, salty and floral finish.
'Llum' is a complantation blend of Macabeu, Grenache Gris and Grenache Blanc vines ranging between 15-104 years old. The farming is biodynamic and there are no sulphites added at all during the winemaking or bottling process. Aptly named 'Llum' (Catalan for 'The Light'), this wine is indeed nothing short of illuminating and makes for a proper introduction to the region, and this winery, that deserves our attention.