New treats from the Rhone

July 27, 2005

I had a pleasant surprise yesterday, courtesy of the Perrin family. They are a Rhone Valley powerhouse, and make the Vielle Ferme line of wines (which have an excellent price/quality ratio). They also own the Chateau de Beaucastel line. Astute readers will know that bringing a bottle of Beaucastel to my house is guaranteed to produce a big smile. Especially if you share it.

Yesterday I picked up a bottle of the Perrin’s new VF white, specifically the Viognier/Marsanne blend. It came in a screw-top bottle, which made me very happy to see. I’ve only come across screwtops from Australia, New Zealand and California (Bonny Doon), so it’s nice to see their use spreading to Europe as well.

The VF line (VF stands for Vielle Ferme) is the Perrin’s new screw-top line of wines. Most are sourced from different areas of Southern France, and the graphic presentation is sharp and clean (unlike many other French wines). A quick Google search produced evidence of a Syrah and a blended wine from Nimes. I’ll have to keep my eyes open for those.

But enough with the looks and the history. How does it taste? One word. Wow. There’s nothing “fancy” about this wine, but for pure enjoyment, I’d be hard-pressed to find its equal. The nose showed off a hint of nectarines, and some light floral scents. In the mouth, it was drier than a full Viognier, but still had the richness I expected. Lots of nectarines again, and a hint of something mineral from the Marsanne.

Pick up the VF Viognier/Marsanne blend at your local MLCC for $12.00 ($13.68 after taxes). For the money, it’s the best deal at the MLCC I’ve seen in some time. We’re off to the lake this weekend, and I’m putting a bottle (or three) of this in the cooler to enjoy on the dock.


  1. I’ll have to find that VF white, as I’m always on the lookout for a good viognier and am trying out as many French wines right now as possible.

    Oh, and I know Henry of Pelham has a barrel-demented chard with the screwcap, and that Dr. Loosen in Germany has one too.

    I mean, the wine, not Dr. Loosen himself, has a screwcap.

  2. Watch for my next posting, I’ve got something to top screwcaps – the first ever TetraPak wine I’ve purchased!

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