From: Southern Rhône, France
Blend: 60% Roussanne, Viognier and Grenache Blanc
Taste: You’ll find delicate notes of white blossom that gracefully intertwine with the fruitiness of nectarine and peach. These fragrances are enhanced by a unique touch of fennel and caraway seed. The first sip reveals a deft balance between a crisp structure and a rounded, full body. The initial fruit-forward notes of nectarine, peach, and zesty lime are swiftly followed by those same fennel and caraway seed notes. The wine's mineral and flinty overtones add complexity, while hints of white pepper and lemon zest introduce a touch of spice. This is a wine that embodies the estate's signature style of refinement, bearing the unmistakable stamp of the sun-soaked, breezy terroir of Costières de Nîmes. The finish is long, with persistent flavors of citrus and stone fruit lingering on the palate, punctuated by a gentle “sea-breeze” minerality and the intriguing spice of white pepper.
Pairing: This charming white wine pairs beautifully with a variety of seafood, from scallops and prawns, whether grilled or sautéed, to poached Sea Bass (check out the recipe below). It complements the creaminess of avocado, making it a delightful partner for avocado and shrimp salads. Pair it with poisson en papillote or a Caesar salad for a lighter meal. For an earthier taste, try it with poultry with Mediterranean influences or a vibrant couscous.
Sea Bass Fillets with Mushroom Beurre Noisette
Recipe from Jean-Georges Vongerichten
Adapted by Mark Bittman
About. Crafted amidst the sunny southern hillsides of Costières de Nîmes, the 2021 Blanc Chateau L'Ermite D'Auzan is an exquisite example of what this historic estate has to offer. This elegant wine, produced from a blend of Roussanne, Viognier, and Grenache Blanc, is a testament to the winemaking prowess of the estate's owners, Michel and Jérôme Castillon.
A Unique Blend, An Enviable Terroir
The Chateau L'Ermite D'Auzan Blanc 2021 is a concoction of uniquely southern varietals: 60% Roussanne, complemented by Viognier and Grenache Blanc. Remarkably, it is produced without the use of oak, a decision that underscores the estate's commitment to letting the grape's natural flavours shine.
The result is a wine that's dry, discreetly full, and lightly aromatic, a bouquet bearing gentle notes of white blossom. The palate is both crisp and rounded, a delightful antidote for those experiencing 'Sauvignon fatigue'.
The vineyard's location, cascading from the southern hillsides of Costières de Nîmes towards the Mediterranean, provides an abundance of sunshine while benefiting from refreshing sea breezes. This unique climate favours even ripening and water retention in the pebbly soil, yielding grapes full of character and vibrancy.
The Taste of Tradition and Innovation
On the palate, the 2021 Blanc Chateau L'Ermite D'Auzan is a potpourri of flavours. Nectarine and peach notes intermingle with lime, underpinned by an intriguing fennel/caraway seed character. Gentle mineral and flinty overtones bring complexity to this delightful wine, underpinned by floral aromas and bright stone citrus notes, all upheld by a racy acidity.
The choice to forgo oak ageing allows the wine's freshness, citrus, and a hint of brine to take centre stage, reflecting the Mediterranean influence of the Nîmes region. A hint of spice, akin to white pepper and lemon zest, adds an extra dimension to this already multi-faceted wine.
An Estate Rich in History and Environmental Consciousness
Founded in the 11th Century by the hermits of Sainte Cécile d’Estagel Abbay, the estate, located on the pilgrimage route of Santiago de Compostella, was renamed from Château l’Ermitage to Château L’Ermite d’Auzan in 2020. Now spanning 80 hectares of south-facing vineyards, the estate benefits from the airy Mediterranean climate.
The Castillons have dedicated themselves to environmentally conscious farming practices, working to minimise their impact on the environment. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed: they've received Terra Vitis certification and achieved full organic certification in 2020.
In conclusion, the 2021 Blanc Chateau L'Ermite D'Auzan is a wine that encapsulates the spirit of the Costières de Nîmes: its abundant sunshine, refreshing sea breezes, and the rich, pebbly soil. It's a wine that tells the story of the Castillons' dedication to organic, sustainable farming and their commitment to preserving the unique character of their historic vineyards.
This wine, with its vibrant flavors and elegant structure, is not just a drink, but a sensory journey to the heart of southern France. Its refreshing citrus notes, aromatic bouquet, and hint of spice make it a versatile companion to a variety of dishes, truly exemplifying the spirit of the Mediterranean.
The 2021 Blanc Chateau L'Ermite D'Auzan is more than a wine – it's a testament to the Castillons' commitment to sustainable farming, the unique terroir of Costières de Nîmes, and the timeless art of winemaking. It's a refreshing, aromatic, and nuanced wine that promises to delight the palate and evoke the sunny, breezy landscapes of southern France, making every sip a unique, memorable experience.
From the historic vineyards of Château L’Ermite d’Auzan to your wine glass, this is a wine that offers more than just a taste, it offers an experience of a storied terroir, upheld by a commitment to organic viticulture and a love for the land.
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