Last night’s wine featured a combination of French varietals combined in Susan Tipton’s 2018 Acquiesce Ingénue. Don’t let the name fool you as its definition states “an innocent or unsophisticated young woman, especially in a play or film”. This is a unique white blend of Grenache Blanc, Clairette Blanche, Bourboulenc and Picpoul Blanc. The gestalt of this wine, when you combine the Grenache Blanc (pleasant minerality with hints of green apple and apricot), Bourboulenc, a rare varietal in the United States with as Susan states “…beeswax on the nose, citrus flavors of orange and key lime…..with a honeyed finish”, Picpoul (with pineapple, lemon custard and floral nose) and Clairette Blanche (again an uncommon varietal in California) with a medium-heavy viscosity, mild grapefruit and a floral bouquet, you have an exquisite and one of kind experience. Each of the varietals received an award winning Gold or Double Gold in various competitions. The Ingénue won Best of Class & Double Gold at the 2019 International Women’s Wine Competition plus Best of Class in the 2019 Sunset International Wine Competition. A great uncommon find and worthy of honor in any cellar! This wine sells for $34/bottle.
The Components In Detail
Clairette Blanche – Clairette Blanche is a widely planted white grape in the south of France. “Clairette”, which means light one in French, is due to its grape skin color. Only 2% of worldwide production is done in the USA. Acquiesce Clairette Blanche holds a tremendous complexity of floral aromas of honeysuckle and jasmine. The flavor profile is one of both sweet and lightly roasted almonds. Residing in the background is pineapple, lime and lemongrass. A perfect wine targeted for fish and shell fish. It has already won a Double Gold Medal at the 2020 American Wine Society Wine Competition.
Bourboulenc – wine possesses a medium heavy viscosity. Intriguing and frankly startling, was the bouquet of aromatics. On the nose were diverse and numerous floral notes. Over temperature they range from stone fruit, almond, pineapple, honeysuckle, orange blossoms, tropical fruits and stone fruits. Once on the palate, they engulf and dance amusingly in the mouth. All these flavors came forward to introduce themselves and left you with a rich textured enchanted mouth feel with sufficient acidity. The finish provides a polarizing effect of softness and minerality at the same time.
Picpoul Blanc – Visually this varietal is faint in color and almost translucent with a pale yellow hue. On the nose pineapple was the predominate scent coupled with minerality. Picpoul means to “sting the lips” yet this wine was much more embracing and had a disguised light sweetness. The finish produced a full mouthful of wonderment. This wine was made to pair with oysters in Europe. Susan Tipton also believes in the New World, it is excellent with spicy Thai food and dishes with cilantro. In 2017 only 220 cases were produced and all going to wine club members. In 2018 based upon expected yields, she increased that number to approximately 350 cases. As an aside, only 40 acres were planted with this grape varietal in the USA in 2017!
Grenache Blanc – A varietal with lively minerality with hints of green apple and pear.
The Food and Wine Pairing
Paired with a chicken and Bok Choy stir fry last evening. The stir fry used boneless chicken, cornstarch, Canola oil, dark sesame oil, sliced uncooked onions, grated ginger root, minced garlic sliced uncooked Bok Choy, water and a touch of low sodium soy sauce. Accompanying the meal was short & long grain wild rice and a fresh garden salad. With this wine, the stir fry combination was both glamorous and exhilarating. The wine and food enhanced each other and provided a sum greater than the parts.