Faugeres blanc les vignes du puits domaine alquier

Does anyone in the community have any knowledge/experience of this Languedoc white? Planning a bit of an exploration of the marsanne/roussanne/Viognier varieties and this looks interesting, but very little information on it!

https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/faugeres-blanc-les-vignes-du-puits-domaine-alquier-2020

Thanks in advance for any help

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Sorry, no, but it looks great, straight on my wishlist!

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Best get an order in then!

Part of the reason for doing this is to find out if I actually like these grapes and styles. I’ve had a couple of bottles of Viognier dominant whites and found they had a bitter note on the finish that I didn’t get on with so well personally. Specifically the basic Guigal blanc and this vin de France.

https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/vin-de-france-pertinence-viognier-rethore-davy-2020

Having read around these it seems that’s how they’re supposed to taste. The new world examples of single variety Viognier that I have tasted I’ve much preferred so I don’t know whether it’s the Viognier, the particular style or the other grapes in the blend of the Guigal blanc that I didn’t like. In addition to the Faugeres so far my shortlist is:

Les Pierres Bordes, Marsanne-Viognier, Pays d’Oc 2021
Ventoux Blanc, Paul Jaboulet Aîné 2019
d’Arenberg The Money Spider Roussanne 2020

Anything else anyone thinks I should look at?

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This one is a perennial favourite:

https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/viognier-gres-du-trias-vignerons-ardechois-2020

However, I do get what you say about the ‘bitter’ note on the finish; to my palate it’s a welcome ending to a (usually) peachy and rounded affair, and I tend to experience more as citrus zest note - which is what the Grès du Trias tastes like to me. For the price, though, it’s perhaps worth you giving it a go to see if you experience that note in this particular wine too.

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Same here, I have relatively limited experience of white Rhone blends, and haven’t really got on with a lot of the cheaper viognier powered ones to date.

I have had a few bottles of this recently - which we’ve loved, definitely more of a fruit-driven style:
https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/darenberg-the-hermit-crab-mclaren-vale-viognier-marsanne-2020
This was also a hit - TWS have another slightly cheaper cuvee which I have yet to try:

Otherwise I’ve been picking up wines with more marsanne/roussanne/clairette to try and find out what I like, some still on the list:

https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/vacqueyras-blanc-les-clefs-d-or-clos-des-cazaux-2020
https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/marsanne-vin-de-france-julien-cecillon-2019
https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/crozes-hermitage-terre-blanche-domaine-belle-2018

However, have yet to try any of these.

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I personally love this style of wine, and given the grapes in this particular example, you’d probably expect a bit of herbalness / bitterness at the end; par for the course in my experience [and something I personally like, otherwise they can be too “flabby” in my book].

If you’re feeling flush and not tried it before, the Thorne & Daughters Rocking Horse from SA is a magnificent example of - broadly - this kind of blend, albeit not based on Grenache Blanc [Roussanne, Semillon, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay & Clairette]. One of my desert island wines.

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I second @MattH’s suggestion of Domaine Saint Amant ‘Tabardonne’ from Waitrose. It’s a gorgeous wine - quite rich and powerful. The Society is stocking its slightly cheaper sibling:

https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/cotes-du-rhone-blanc-la-borry-domaine-de-saint-amant-2019

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Have you tried this one?

https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/viognier-grignan-les-adhemar-domaine-de-montine-2021

I haven’t tried this year, but certainly don’t remember any bitterness in previous years. A lively wine as I recall.

Just reading my previous comment which has a mention of apricot kernel, so maybe this is the bitter note you pick up. But, as I say, I don’t remember it as bitterness.

(Macabeo is the grape I always associate with a bitter edge but that doesn’t help advance your research much!)

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FWIW I’ll third the suggestion by @MattH for the Waitrose Domaine Saint Amant ‘Tabardonne’. This is great VFM in my book and a consistently really lovely wine. It went OOS quickly during this latest round of their 25%-off-6, partly due to yours truly, and, I suspect, several other fans on here _

Marsanne and Roussanne are relatively low-acid grapes. I wouldn’t put Clairette in that category - to my palate, Clairette driven wines make a good match with dishes containing lots of cooked tomato, which can otherwise be hard to match well.

The d’Arenberg Money Spider is a good buy IMHO, worth trying. Although there doesn’t appear to be any on the list at present, the Tahbilk Marsanne is a classic of its type, matures reliably and is affordable, a rare combination worth snapping up when it appears again. Other than that, the classic locus for Marsanne wines tends to be the northern Rhone, though some of them tend towards being over-oaked,

Grenache blanc wines tend to head in another direction again. They can be a bit flabby if the grapes were picked too late, but not otherwise. It’s a bit hard to describe the aromatic profile of white grenache, but it is more visible in the Grenache Gris. It may be worth trying one of them first - once tried its a lot easier to see its relationship to Grenache blanc.

All the above being according to my palate of course, which may or may not coincide with anyone else’s!

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I really like Grenache Blanc when it’s done well - Waitrose has a basic Rustenberg version which is excellent, especially if you hang on to it for a year or so. For £7.50 (on offer) you really can’t go wrong.

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One of my wines of the year last year was actually Maby’s Lirac blanc, which I note contained a high proportion of grenache blanc in the 2020. I think the clairette and picpoul in the blend are supposed to keep the acidity up, certainly seemed bright and fresh to my memory.

Interesting, if I understand correctly macabeo is also known as viura in Rioja and I very much enjoyed the society’s white rioja, without noting any bitterness to my palate. The plot thickens…

Thanks everyone for the suggestions, have put the Domaine Saint Amant la Borry in my basket and my wishlist is now several wines longer!

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Yes, it’s very strange. I’m convinced that it tastes okay as viura, but when it’s in its macabeo version it tends towards bitterness. No sensible explanation for this - maybe due to the macabeo that was served on BA a few years ago.