Category Archives: Colombard

Duparc Pineau des Charentes “White”

Pineau des Charentes AOC, France; 17% ABV
imported by Halby Marketing, Sonoma, CA
$5 for 375ml at the Richmond, CA, store

When I ordered this, I thought it was just some French white wine I’d never heard of.  When it arrived, I was completely baffled, so I looked up Pineau des Charentes in Wikipedia: It is “a regional French aperitif … a fortified wine (mistelle or vin de liqueur), made from either fresh, unfermented grape juice or a blend of lightly fermented grape must, to which a Cognac eau-de-vie [twice-distilled spirits] is added and then matured.”  So, of course, I had to try one.

I think this is delicious!  It’s sweet from the fresh grapes, but a little less sweet than a dessert wine.  I’m not satisfied with my description here, but what comes to mind is honeysuckle / honey and yellow-grapey canned oranges, peaches, and pears.  The flavor of purified alcohol is also prominent.  I prefer it chilled.  For me, at least, this aperitif, with its delicious sweetness and high alcohol content, is a bit dangerous.  🙂


2009 Alexandre Sirech “Les Deux Terroirs” Dry White $5.99

Alexandre Sirech & Co
Purchased: Salem, OR 10-20-2014

  • Alcohol: 12% by vol
  • Acidity: 4.3 g/l
  • Residual Sugar: 5.2 g/l

ASirechHow many times have I said “I am not a white wine person?” No idea, but it seems an endless monologue. In this case, I could be converted. Really.

The blend consists of: 60% of Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Gros Manseng and 10% Colombard. I am familiar with Sauvignon Blanc, but not the other two varietals. I noticed they weren’t even listed in our category options here at the blog.  [ed. note:  They are now!]

The color could be described as a bright lemon-yellow. The nose is what I would consider complex; fruity, floral, herbal and it draws you in, immediately wanting to taste it. We served it chilled. The taste is equally complex. This wine shines without food and was lost even in the most mellow meal (we had turkey breast and baked potatoes…very bland). It’s crisp without having a harsh or chemical aftertaste. It’s fruity without being overtly sweet. The floral and herbal notes are tantalizing without pushing to the forefront. It’s lush without tasting thick or glycerin-like. I found it (don’t laugh) genteel; understated but inviting. We savored it over 3.5 hrs wanting to see how it would taste as it opened up. The fruit moved much more forward (while the minerality moved more to the shadows) as the evening progressed and the wine reached room temperature.

Their PR blurb says:
A magical white blend. For this wine Alexandre has taken 60% Sauvignon Blanc from an outstanding gravelly terroir, and added 30% Gros Manseng and 10% Colombard from the right siliceous terroir. The result is a very special and distinctive wine. Fermented at low temperatures in stainless steel, the wine is crisp and fruity, vibrant, with a beautiful freshness and minerality.

I find nothing there to disagree with. I have never had an un-oaked white that I liked until now and I’ve never found a white that did not have at least one component that I disliked. This one hit all the positives for me. Alcohol is unobtrusive; very old world style.

I know nothing else about this wine. Not what its original price point is; not what it’s “rated”. It doesn’t matter. I’d buy it again in a heartbeat and I hope to come across more of Alexandre Sirech’s creations in the future.

Again, I wouldn’t necessarily call this a food wine (although I could possibly see it pairing satisfactorily with seafood); it belongs to the “sippers” of this world.