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Domaine La Manarine, Cotes du Rhone Blanc, 2008, $14.99

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Here is an opportunity to taste two grapes (50% Clairette and 50% Bourboulenc) that are more often blended with lots of other grapes. They are two of the thirteen grapes allowed in Chateauneuf du Papes. Chateau de Beaucastel still famously uses all thirteen in their stellar Chateauneuf, but most use just 2-4 varietals. Of the Chateauneuf “Thirteen,” eight are red and five are white, including Clairette, Bourboulenc, Roussanne, Picpoul and Picardan. White Hermitage, from the Northern Rhone, is Marsanne and Roussanne; Cassis, a small village-size AOC in southwestern Provence, is principally Marsanne and Clairette; and Picpoul de Pinet from the Languedoc is Picpoul. This is a rare hybrid, or rather, a seldom-exported hybrid that features more Bourboulenc, a grape that adds elegance and complexity, and therefore the opportunity to isolate some flavors associated with it.

The Domaine La Manarine offers an intriguing nose of mineral and white flowers along with white peach and lime zest. It has similar flavors on the palate, with good body but lots of fresh acidity to finish clean. It could pair nicely with a salad of mixed greens and fresh blueberries, shrimp ceviche, or a tangy goat cheese.