A rather long name for a white blend! That said, this wine comes from the kingdom of Yorkville Cellars in Mendocino County so royalty is expected. As with their handcrafted red wine called Richard the Lion-Heart (see full story at: https://californiawinesandwineries.com/2020/09/14/2016-yorkville-cellar-richar/d-the-lion-heart-a-bordeaux-style-blend), Edward and Deborah Wallo, owners and winemakers, reached into the history books to call this Eleanor of Aquitaine.
To catch up on the history of Eleanor, Eleanor married Henry II in the twelfth century. With the marriage, her inheritance of Bordeaux and the Graves regions of France passed to the English crown. It remained there for almost three centuries. The history books are somewhat vague about her life, but suffice it to say, the monks who did most of the writing then, wrote more about rumors surrounding Eleanor’s life and her association with the Courts of love and the arts of the Troubadours who were known to be “scandalous and controversial”. Even to this day, most scholars don’t know if records were of historical accuracy or merely as moral teachings. Either way, Eleanor remains “tantalizingly elusive and fascinating”. Thus the name of the wine!
2018 Yorkville Cellars, Eleanor of Aquitaine
This is a wine made from the best barrels of Semillon (60%) and blended with Sauvignon Blanc (40%). As they call it “wine fit for royals”. This proprietor’s blend is made in the classic tradition of Graves style Bordeaux Blanc. It is 100% barrel fermented in small French oak barrels to garner the mouthful feeling and provide complexity often only seen in red wines.
The 2018 Yorkville Cellars, Eleanor of Aquitaine besides using French oak are sur-lie aged for 10 months. The blend gains complexity as it ages and can be enjoyed now or even 3-5 years from the vintage date. On the eyes, a clear and medium viscosity wine. On the nose, distinct floral notes of honeysuckle and pear. On the palate, honey, pear and apricot in a rich mouthful feel come across. The finish is surprisingly long and smooth for a white wine. Historically, they have received Gold Medal (2015 Orange County Wine Group), and 93 points (and a Gold Medal) from Tastings. A unique blend and something not commonly found.
The Food Pairing
Paired with fresh scallop’s sautéed in olive oil and pinch of brown sugar plated over a combination white and brown rice. Served with an artichoke and fresh garden salad.