2011 Stolpman L’Avion Roussanne

I realize it has been a while since I last blogged but I have a decent excuse, I think.  I have been working like a rented mule.  Long, long hours and lots of travel.  It is getting to the point that Ms. Sybarite doesn’t even recognize me when I come home anymore.  The dog barks at me like I am an intruder when I come home.  So here I sit down in glorious Yuma, Arizona for the start of the lettuce season. I will probably be down here for the entire month.  In as much as Yuma is a desert in the traditional sense, it is also a desert in the figurative sense in regards to fine dining and good wine.  Last night, before I left to drive down here, Ms. Sybarite and I went to Passionfish in Pacific Grove.  It’s a fantastic fish house and the best part is that they sell their wine list at retail price instead of the usual huge restaurant markup.

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We were both having fish but they were accompanied by some decent spicy sides.  Not spicy in the sense of heat but flavorful spice with deep, rich flavor.  Plus she had sturgeon and I had scallops so we needed to have a white wine that had some body and flavor to stand up to the fish rather than a high acid white that you might have with a lighter fish or a fattier fish.  This Roussanne seemed really interesting and was coming out of the Santa Ynez Valley just north of Santa Barbara which is one of my favorite, and underrated, wine producing regions in California.

Roussanne is a grape that is one third of the classic white Rhone blend: Roussanne Grenache Blanc, and Marsanne.  The Rhone region in France has similar growing conditions to the Santa Ynez Valley here in California so a lot of the same varietals are planted.  I was immediately attracted because I knew the qualities that Roussanne can have but I had never had one that was 100% Roussanne.

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The 2011 Stolpman L’Avion Roussanne did not disappoint.  It was rich in body and flavor, quite a bit more than I expected to be honest.  I expected a lot thinner body but this wine has quite full and really hung on your tongue for quite a while.  It had a really delightful floral and herbal flavor with enough acid to carry it.  Bright fruit flavors with maybe a touch of rose petal smell and taste were in the background but I felt that the main flavors to me were herbal.  Normally I can’t stand that in wine but this one was absolutely enjoyable.  Ringing up at around $35, I realize that is a little steep for my average reader as well as myself.  But, when you get the chance to try something new it is worth it to pay a little bit for your education.

I know my blogging has been spotty and I can honestly say it reflects my booze consumption as well.  If I haven’t been Sybariting, then I can’t write about it.  I hope to get back to it but I can tell you that September will be pretty spotty as well.  Hopefully you all stay with me!  I will be back and pick up my Costco series and some other fun ideas, as soon as I can.  In the meantime, go try to get a bottle of this Roussanne.  If you have to go to the Santa Ynez Valley to get it, it wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen to you.  It’s gorgeous this time of year and there is fantastic wine every place you look.

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