Domaine Saint Guyan ‘L’Oratorie’ Sablet Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2011

$29, Mediterranean Food Co., Chch.

Date Tasted: Friday, 9th May 2014

Colour and condition: Medium lemon, perfectly clear. 3

Aroma: Clean, distinctly mealy aromas are complexed by those of crushed raw (and damp) cereal seeds (including flax and hemp). Broad bean is here too, along with freshly crushed parsnip and salsify notes. Weet-bix, peaches and sour cream underneath. Suggestions of hydrangea blooms. No oxidation or tired oak: vibrant and fresh. 6.3

Palate and aftertaste: Fresh semi-savoury entry that modulates the characters found on the nose by adding peach and nashi pear to the overall flavour spectrum. Moderately well textured palate with nice balance despite the only moderate acidity. Phenolics (which are vital in these C.d.R. blanc wines) are nicely handled, giving sufficient concentration and extract without bitterness or oiliness. Suggestions of alfalfa sprouts and subtle green Japanese-style herbs counterbalance weet-bix and nut-and-cereal paste flavours. Tasty but not ‘fruity’; a food wine but very attractive all the same, and very well made. Will hold for another 2 -3 years I’d think. 8.7

General comments: Excellent white Cotes du Rhone with not a whit of an oenological fault — but not thereby stripped of character or depth. Should be delightful with good Mediterranean food to match. I would buy this again.


Author: Dr. Gerald Atkinson

Company director, viticulturist, grapevine researcher and historian, and sometime wine-writer.