As the Paso-Red-blend category continues on toward homogeneity, I keep reaching for the whites for inspiration. Here’s a blend feeling quite Rhone, and while the creaminess of Viognier is visible, a rift of acid and thin brilliance overwhelms. Pale canary in the glass–another hint away from the loquacious density of that variety. Nose a shy blend of floral and tropical–dank and grassy to an extent–muddled compost touching on earthiness, green banana, pear and Meyer lemon expressing mellow fruit nuances. It’s a beauty: shoving a middle finger in the face of Chardonnay–and most Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne–but flushingly anti-stark compared to some of the currently trendy, paler, more acid-driven Rhone white varieties. This is the beauty of a blend.
Tasting it does NOT disappoint. Ridiculously clean and balanced, the sweet glow of Viognier again appearing, its thick complexity watered-back with gorgeous metallic abrasion and the sharp pang of acid: a blood-orange minerality not somm-darling austere, but *just* pointed enough to generate waves of rasp on the palate, all while obvious neutral barrel-aging states its formative polish. There’s a hint of tannin: the finish pulling all the lilikoi, quince and even petrichor stops out on a calculated path to mind-stimulating deliciousness. Sweet and lovely in postlude, the structure poised nearby: ready and eager for contemplation.
You’d be on a pretty serious mission to find a better white blend.
2019 DUBOST ‘Alexandrine’ VG/GB 60/40 Adelaida District Paso Robles 14.0