My Favorite Bargain White Wine in the History of the World

Many highlights of being in Tacoma for Thanksgiving but one was undoubtedly being reunited with a long time Hall of Fame white wine: Domaine des Cassagnoles Cuvée Gros Manseng. This is the top white wine, pound for pound, dollar for dollar you’ll find. I haven’t seen it in New York but it has kind of a cult following in Seattle. (Which I will take some credit for from my days as a buyer.)

Domaine des Cassagnoles 2016 Cuvée Gros Manseng Reserve Selection (Côtes de Gascogne) $13

If you’re looking for bargain white wine, head to Southwest France. Particularly, the Côtes de Gascgone region, the home turf of DdC. The winery makes a blend even LESS EXPENSIVE than the Gros Manseng (which is the grape, BTW). If you see CdG on a label, just buy that dang white wine.

So this bottle has so much easy-drinking flavor and actual texture. It’s not too searingly acidic like a lot of cheap white wines. I’d call it medium-bodied, which is remarkable for a “simple” wine. It’s not perfume-y like a Viognier or Torrontes, but is aromatically enticing. The Gros Manseng checks off so many boxes for a wine of this price. (BTW, got the price from Wine-Searcher.)

If you’re having trouble finding it, the importer is Weygandt-Metzler. So when you go to your local wine shop, let them know this is the company responsible for bringing this amazing bottle to our fair shores.

I also wrote about the Gros Manseng back in 2010. A very short, to-the-point post.

Also, if you missed the natty wine kerfuffle that recently set the insular indie wine world ablaze,  read about it (along with my thoughts) in my newsletter.

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Defend Oaky White Wines and Hug a Barrel

Lone Oak / Photo by Beverly Crandon via Flickr.

Permit me to rattle my saber a bit and come out and say I am tired of all the criticism of oaky white wines. I love ’em. Especially this time of year, when they are like a warm hug. And you want something that pairs exceptionally well with rich seafood dishes, creamy soups, and even (gasp!) a steak? Boom.

I really like Chardonnay with oak. Over four years ago, I wrote about meeting the winemaker from Frank Family Vineyards in Napa, Todd Graff. When talking about the world’s most famous white wine grape, he shared three words with me:

Chardonnay needs oak.”

For those who ask if Graff does a stainless steel version? “We do unoaked Chardonnay; it just happens to have bubbles in it,” he mischievously explained. (They make a sparkling wine.)

(Full story about my visit on Foodista.)

The Diverse World of Oaky White Wines

So when I had the opportunity to profess my love for the barrel in the February issue of Wine Enthusiast, I jumped at the chance. Now it’s online with a really fantastic illustration. Read all about it and discover four recommended white wines that benefit from the barrel but don’t have you pulling splinters out of your teeth .

Defending Oaked White Wines

Lone Oak photo by Beverly Crandon via Flickr.

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