As the season moves toward autumn with holidays on the horizon, I am often asked by friends and colleagues to suggest a ‘party wine’ – something inexpensive, but good. These are often mutually exclusive terms, but occasionally a wine pops onto our radar that warrants making a note….
The 2012 Le Campuget Blanc is one of those wines. Hailing from the southern regions of France (Costieres de Nimes, southern Rhone) that seem to produce so many richly fruited wines at fantastically affordable prices, the Campuget Blanc is a wine that I will recommend to all my friends as a Screaming Good Deal because the price is affordable ($6.99) and the flavors solid. And for those who care about logistics, the bottle features a highly efficient and easy-to-deal-with screw top (which also helps to maintain the freshness of this lively white).
Surprisingly for a wine of this price, the nose is attractive and floral with some citrus notes. The texture is light and lifted, but nearly medium bodied and certainly not thin, which I might expect for a wine in this price category. A blend of mostly Grenache Blanc and a smaller portion of Viognier, I tasted at above ice-cold temperature and found exotic/tropical and citrus flavors dominate the palate, with notable balance, followed by a legitimate finish that continues further than expected. Is this wine on par with a $50 Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc? No. But it IS a lovely wine that would be well-received at double the price. A few vintages before now, some friends found an inexpensive southern French white wine, which they bought by the case, and called it ‘ The Frenchy’ – I think this is my new ‘Frenchy’!
For those seeking a white that is soft enough to sip by itself, or pair with delicate salads/seafood dishes – I say buy it. For those seeking a non-oaky-chardonnay-but-still-big-flavored-white for a party – I say buy it. For $6.99 you will enjoy it! (Chateau de Campuget Le Campuget Blanc 2012, Pennsylvania PLCB code: 32915, $6.99)