2021 Acquiesce Belle Blanc – A Tribute to Chateauneuf du Pape

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The Winery

First Susan Tipton’s Acquiesce Winery features exquisite white French wines exclusively (and one Rose). When Susan Tipton founded Acquiesce Winery, she was on a mission unique to Lodi AVA and in fact, most vinicultural areas. She sought to offer only white Rhone wines. She was chastised and admonished why she should not focus on solely white wines. Yet based on her passion and life experiences in France, she proceeded without wavering. She sourced and planted the best vines from the Chateau de Beaucastel of Chateauneuf du Pape on her quest.

Many people have heard and experienced Chateauneuf-du-Pape as a red wine. The reality is that it comes in a white format also! The region allows six white grape varieties: Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Roussanne, Bourboulenc, Picpoul and Picardan. Grenache Blanc, a mutation of Grenache noir, is the most commonly used grape variety. The Belle Blanc is Susan Tipton’s homage to the white Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

Today she has and continues making artisan and award winning boutique wines. This wine is a combination of 50% Roussanne, 30% Grenache Blanc and 20% Bourboulenc. Here are her recent awards on the 2021 Belle Blanc and the wines that contribute to the Belle Blanc:

2021 Belle Blanc: Double Gold, 95 pts, 2022 International Women’s Wine Competition

2021 Roussanne: Silver, 2022 Sunset International Wine Competition

2021 Roussanne: Silver, 2022 International Women’s Wine Competition

2021 Grenache Blanc: Double Gold, 96 pts, 2022 International Women’s Wine Competition

2021 Grenache Blanc: Double Gold, 96 pts, 2022 Sunset International Wine Competition

2021 Grenache Blanc: Gold, 2022 California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition

2021 Bourboulenc: Gold, 93 pts, 2022 International Women’s Wine Competition

2021 Bourboulenc: Gold, 91 pts, 2022 Orange County Wine Competition

All these awards and was named 2022 Best Woman Winemaker at the International Women’s Wine Competition. She and her wines are all winners!

The Wine – 2021 Acquiesce Belle Blanc

(Photo ©Michael Kelly)

Served in a Chardonnay glass for the full effect of the wine. First on the eyes, it is a soft golden color and medium to medium heavy viscosity. The aromatics of this wine are by far the most intriguing and surprisingly fuller than any white wine I have experienced. As Susan Tipton states “aromas of pear, stone fruit, violet, and passionfruit…”. As the wine wafts into the nose you are immediately mesmerized, and aware that this is no ordinary wine. Without even tasting it, it instantly became one of the Best Wines Tasted for 2023 (Dec 15th, 2022 to Dec 14th, 2023). The combination of Bourboulenc per Susan “lengthens the finish while emphasizing body and texture on the mid-palate”. The grapes are hand-picked and immediately whole cluster pressed to capture their true essence of flavor. It is then sur lie aged in the tank with periodic stirring until bottling. It is listed on their website for $36/bottle and is 13.0% alcohol.

The Food and Wine Pairing

(Photo ©Michael Kelly)

Tonight’s dinner is a longtime favorite Swiss Cheese Chicken. With the three varietals going into the wine, it made the choice a bit of a gamble. Pairing for Roussanne suggest buttery meats like lobster, crab foie gras and pate. Grenache Blanc suggestions include chicken, Friday fish fry or a white meat with a fruit based sauce. Lastly the Bourboulenc food pairing suggests pork steaks, steamed scallops and a goat cheese salad. Susan Tipton on her website suggested the Belle Blanc with its elegant finish to pair with salads, pork, chicken, and buttery dishes.

The Swiss Cheese Chicken ingredients included boneless chicken breasts, chicken soup, white wine, butter, Swiss cheese and seasoned croutons. Accompanied by sautéed asparagus and mashed potatoes.

This made for a wonderful food and wine pairing last evening. Additionally, sipping it on its own after dinner was also delightful and outstanding!

Sláinte,

Michael

https://californiawinesandwineries.com

https://www.acquiescevineyards.com/

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