What is Bourboulenc?
This varietal comes from southern France, primarily the Languedoc and Provence appellations. Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards claim to be the first winery to release this fascinating and somewhat obscure varietal in the USA. The variety first mentioned in literature goes back to the 16th Century. While the grape is known to be native to Provence, Bourboulenc has a Greek origin where it was known as Asprokondoura. Bourboulenc is often used in blending with Grenache Blanc and Clairette. Bourboulenc is a white wine giving off intense floral aromatics, with a tremendous mouthful feeling of citrus, smoky and soft spicy notes forming a complex finish.
California’s total wine grape acreage is 620,000 as of the end of 2020. Compare that to just three acres planted in Bourboulenc! That is .0000048% of the total acreage is planted in California for this unique grape.
There is so much to state about Susan Tipton, owner and winemaker of Acquiesce Winery. The key takeaway is that she established her winery in Acampo (just north of Lodi) with the expressed purpose of bringing French white wine varieties to market. Lodi had been primarily known for red wines, but she turned heads with some of her unique wines such as Picpoul, Clairette Blanche, Bourboulenc, Ingénue (blend of Grenache Blanc, Clairette Blanche, Bourboulenc and Picpoul), Roussanne and more. Here are some reviews of her wines and impact:
The Wine – 2019 Bourboulenc
The first thing you notice is the golden color in the glass, and the 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. The wine won both at Gold and Silver Medal at the SF Chronicle Wine Competition the last two years. It goes for $32/bottle.
The Food and Wine Pairing
Last night with a local Rotary Club fund raiser, but due to Covid restrictions, rather than a typical hall crab feed, everyone picked up their boxed crab to take home. We were guests at a friend’s house to enjoy the crab. Shrimp with pasta, a fresh garden salad, French bread and a lemon pudding were all additional dishes brought by the attendees and host. While several wines were tasted (Chardonnay’s), two were outstanding with the crab. The first was a Cava from Spain, Las Falleras Cava Brut, D.O.P. The second was the 2019 Acquiesce Bourboulenc. Both were spot on with their aromatics and minerality with the crab.