We find a lot of great wines for the money, but occasionally, we find one that just rocks our worlds. Jean-Marc Lafage, one of the most sought after and prolific winemakers in all of Southern France, has absolutely knocked it out of the park with his 2014 Domaine Lafage Cuvée Centenaire. Jeb Dunnuck of The Wine Advocate sums it up pretty well saying “it’s a year in, year out, spectacular value that should not be missed.”
Through Tuesday, June 9th, we’re dealing deep on this one. The Wine Advocate suggested retail is $20, but we’re way below that price! How about $15.29 by the bottle, $14.44/bottle by the six pack, or $12.99/bottle by the case? That’s a great deal on one of the world’s great white wine values.
Jean-Marc and Eliane Lafage farm roughly 160 hectares of vines located just south of the capital of French Catalonia, Perpignan. The warm and dry climate of the region allows them to farm organically and make everything from rich, lively whites to rugged, full bodied reds. The crazy thing is that they make roughly 10 different wines, and all of them are honestly delicious and dramatically affordable.
Another quote from Jeb Dunnuck, one of our favorite Wine Advocate contributors, that sums up the wines made by Jean-Marc and Eliane: “I struggle to think of another portfolio that encompasses anywhere close to this level of value, and the average quality to price (QPR) for these wines is just hard to believe.” Ok, that’s the last time I’ll quote Jeb!
In 2014, Lafage’s Cuvée Centenaire is comprised of 80% Grenache Blanc and 20% Roussanne. All of the grapes come from vineyards that are at least 100 years old, thus the name “Centenaire.” Really old vines like these contribute intensity, depth, and complexity of flavor; and one sip of this and you’ll immediately get that. Fermented in tank, the wine is then aged for four months on the lees in stainless steel and a small percentage is aged in French oak.
The resulting wine possesses that perfect balance of yin and yang. There’s a richness and complexity to the wine that comes through in aromas and flavors of white peach, citrus oil, and rocky mineral that will remind some of a really good White Burgundy. Yet, there’s also a freshness and zing to the wine that shows itself in the form of lemon curd, citrus blossom, and sea salt notes. All in all, it’s just a rocking white wine that over delivers the goods on so many different levels. As Robert Parker said, it possesses “a character that could easily be mistaken as a serious white Hermitage from the northern Rhone.” Bold statement!
To make sure you get some of this one, you can either stop by the store and pick some up or you can call us or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put some aside for you. Not sure about this one? Stop by this Saturday, May 30th any time between 2-5 p.m. and taste it for free along with four other delicious wines from importer Eric Solomon’s portfolio. Cheers and happy drinking and eating in Asheville!