The Wine Idiot Reviews: Pontificis Viognier-Roussanne-Marsanne, 2015 ($6.99)
The more I taste different wines at different price points, the more certain wines in my tasting journey have begun to standout. That Pontificis Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre is one of them--it just drinks like a $15-20 bottle of wine, and costs half that. So I was OVERJOYED to discover a white blend Pontificis at my Trader Joe's this week! The Pontificis wines are imported by Latitude Wines, a name that just kept popping up on my favorite affordable wines from TJ's, so I had a good feeling about this one.
Like the red Pontificis, this white blend is comprised of wines I'm not entirely familiar with. I'm pretty sure what to expect with viognier but have never even heard of Roussanne and Marsanne! (UPDATE: I'm a lying liar. I've had a very similar blend before, and apparently it didn't make much of an impression. I would recommend spending $4 more on this bottle instead of getting the R.G.M.V.)
Upon pouring it into the glass, I was greeted by the most luscious fruit scents--peach maybe? And pineapple? So I was surprised when it did indeed taste fruity but did not taste treacly-sweet. It reminds me sort of like a rich pinot grigio (which, if memory serves, is how I would probably describe just a straight viognier). Like its red sibling, this is super-smooth and drinks like a much more expensive wine--just like I said about the red blend, if I was served this in a wine bar at $12 a glass I would not think I was getting ripped off. And boy does it have a whisper-soft finish. Like piano music in the next room lulling me to sleep--you can hear it, but it's not hitting you over the head.
Now, how does it pair with food? Excellent question. Because I am a classy broad, I paired this bitch with Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and a side of spinach with lemon. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS PAIRING. My goodness did that not work out for me. OK, yes, you're right, you'd be hard-pressed to find a wine that would complement that dinner (actually, now that I'm thinking about it, I think another Latitude Wines import, that Les Portes de Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc, might be PERFECT--it's also lemony, and might be real good at clearing one's palate of processed cheese product). What I'm trying to say is, I don't think it's the wine's fault. I am also trying to say that I'm drinking it all by itself now and it's AWESOME. I sincerely hope TJ's continues carrying this wine all the time, because I could easily see myself keeping this and the red Pontificis on hand for surprise guests. It's that tasty.
What the bottle says: "Produced in the Languedoc-Roussillon, between sea and mountain, from three local grape varieties Viognier (45%), Rousanne (45%) and Marsanne (10%) [sic], Pontificis is an extremely delicate and elegant wine. With aromas of apricots, white flowers and dried fruits, this wine has a long finish and is a beautiful representation of the best of the South of France. Enjoy at 42°F with seafood and poultry dishes, pasta with cream sauces or fresh goat cheese."
What the Wine Idiot says: This label GETS ME. First of all, I love when wine labels set the stage. Second, I like knowing the percentages--it helps me learn about the wines. Third, it explains why this did not pair with my Kraft Mac 'n Cheese--it is EXTREMELY DELICATE AND ELEGANT, YOU GUYS. I'm really keen to try this with a pasta-and-cream-sauce dish. Mainly because I want an excuse to eat a pasta-and-cream-sauce dish.
ABV: 12.5%, pretty standard for a white, I think?
Who's responsible for this? "Bottled for Badet Clément & Co., at F-21700 by EMB 71084A-France, Imported by Latitude Wines, Inc., Danville CA."
Do I need a corkscrew? Of course. This wine IS EXTREMELY DELICATE AND ELEGANT.
What do smarter people say about it? OK, so, there's not a lot of intel out there on this one. A few comments on Vivino, including from Christopher Sprague, who says it's "creamy with notes of stone fruit, especially peach. Also a touch of pear. Very nice wine with shellfish." But in my Googling, somehow I stumbled across this article from a completely different winery, and it actually shares a ton of information about this particular blend. I mean, I tend to zone out when people get all jargon-y with growing regions and ridiculous-sounding flavor descriptions, but this post is really awesome. It explains how each variety lends itself to the blend as a whole:
Marsanne underpins the blend with richness and a full body, while providing with deep honey and nut flavors
Roussanne imparts liveliness and elegance, along with lime and herbal flavors
Viognier tops everything off with its distinctive floral and tropical fruit aromas
That's neat, right?? I mean, now that you MENTION it...I think there is probably a lime note that's balancing out all that fruit. Whatever. Drink enough of this and probably anything you find on the internet will be fun.
Should I bring it to a friend's house? YAAAASSSSSSS. Seriously. Bring this AND a bottle of the Pontificis Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre and you'll be a HERO.