After an uncommonly smooth day of traveling, I arrived in the Northern Rhône on Sunday afternoon and dropped my bags in my room at Domaine de Clairefontaine before heading down for lunch.
First things first—a large bottle of Evian. But soon after, I ordered a glass of white from the St.-Péray appellation, from a producer I haven’t seen in the United States yet.
St.-Péray is a small appellation featuring limestone soils, located just south of Cornas. In the past, the appellation produced more sparkling wine than still, though that’s changed in recent years and the wines are gaining a following outside of the area.
Typically the wines are 100 percent Marsanne, though in this case there’s some Roussanne in the blend. The wine also gets a touch of oak, according to the sommelier, which lends it a slightly plumper feel, with notes of ripe apple, quince and honeysuckle. It was a touch broad on its own, but showed its inherent zip and delineation when drunk alongside a warm vegetable and mushroom terrine sitting in a delightful beurre blanc. 88 points, non-blind, and fairly priced at 10 euros a glass.
WineSpectator.com members: Get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated white wines from St.-Péray.