2018 Terminim, Cepages d’ Or – When Four Varietals Produce a Great Wine

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Terminim, a collaboration between Francois Villard and Donald Patz, produced this 2018 Cepages d’Or. The grapes come from Alder Springs Vineyard in Mendocino County, California. Here they combined four exquisite grapes to form a blend of golden wine (Cepages d’ Or). The four grapes were 54% Marsanne, 22% Roussanne, 12% Viognier and 12% Picpoul Blanc. This golden concoction provided the most robust wine I have tasted in recent memory. The viscosity was heavy, one twirl and it stopped in its tracks! On the nose and mouth, a symphony of flavors burst every nanosecond to provide one of the most thrilling white wines in the market. Strong praise and strongly deserved.

So let’s discuss the key varietals used and each of their contributions to this wine:


First, Marsanne. Marsanne provides depth and rich textures on the palate with a touch of honeydew melon. Additionally Marsanne helps in the viscosity with a fine silkiness. Some of the key components are highlighted by honey-melon and apricot notes with layers of almonds and hazelnuts. It is a good counterbalance to Roussanne.

Secondly, Roussanne. Roussanne is powerful with floral aromatics, with hints of peaches, pears and with a rich and smooth mouthful texture. Roussanne on the eye is a light golden straw and medium viscosity. On the eye and palate, it possesses an elegant finesse with floral aromatics, hints of pear, apricots and with a rich and silky smooth mouthful texture almost creamy. The finish provides a soft nutty texture of almond and a hint of honey with a distinct minerality. Roussanne brings more acidity, elegance and floral aromatic complexities to the wine. Perfect for fish and shell fish.

Thirdly, Viognier. Viognier provides mouth filling textures of minerality, flowers and chalkiness.

Fourth and lastly, Picpoul Blanc. On the nose pineapple is one of the predominate scents coupled with minerality. Picpoul means to “sting the lips” yet this varietal has a much more embracing and disguised light sweetness. Picpoul is meant for seafood. As an aside, less than 100 acres are planted with this grape varietal in the USA!

Add some unique barreling and production secrets and one can only marvel sipping this wine.


These ingredients make one great wine, especially for seafood. Paired with a lightly seared sashimi grade ahi tuna (pink in the middle) with a homemade recipe of soy sauce, white wine vinegar, minced garlic, wasabi, ginger paste, fresh squeezed lemon juice, lemon infused olive oil, rainbow peppercorns and Himalayan pink sea salt. This wine and fish become one delightful and filling meal. Add a garden salad and life is good!

This wine has already made my list of Best of Wines for 2020 which comes out in December. The winery sells this for $40.




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