The Claire Patelin Cotes de Gascogne Sauvignon Blanc 2017 is a $5.99 Trader Joe’s import exclusive sourced from vineyards in the Cotes de Gascogne area of southwest France. The Cotes de Gascogne shares a boundary with the Armagnac AOP which has been a premier Brandy region for 700 years. The Cotes de Gascogne is primarily a White wine producer and is designated IGP which is a ranking one step below an AOP, the rules and regulations of a IGP are less strict than an AOP. The words “Mis en bouteille dans nos chais” are prominent on the label and that translates to “bottled in our cellars” meaning the facilities of the name on the label. It doesn’t mean that they grew the grapes or produced the wine, in these days of LLC’s and holding companies the who, what, when, and where of wine can be confusing. Though with a wine that sells for less than six bucks, as long as it tastes good the actual paternity of this wine isn’t overly important. The alcohol content is a rather light 11.5%.
The color is a very clear, very pale wheat yellow. The nose is lemons, pears, apples, melon, peach and grapefruit, but none of those tropical fruit aromas that occur in New Zealand Sauv Blanc. This is a balanced Sauvignon Blanc with bright acidity, sleek and flavorful. It tastes of a mix of grapefruit and pear (little tart/sweet counterplay), then Golden Delicious apple, lime, and melon. The mid-palate offers a touch of cream, dried apricot, lemon chiffon, and guava. All the flavors are subdued, they hold their place and they play nice with one another. The finish is bold and lingers.
If I am not mistaken, this may be my first wine from the Cotes de Gascogne and I like it. If you were to ask me the price, I would have guessed $10 to $12, not $5.99. The bright acidity is very attractive and there is enough flavor to hold your attention. I can’t remember the last time I had a sub $10 import wine from Trader Joe’s that I didn’t like. There is enough acidity here to work very well as a food wine, and I am thinking this isn’t a bad pairing with turkey, I know a 6 buck wine isn’t usually served at a traditional feast day, but if it pairs well and tastes good, why not?