The Côtes du Rhône area of France is more readily associated with red wines but this is a lovely example of the white wines it can offer.
This wine is made from a blend of white local grape varieties including Grenache Blanc, Marsanne and Viognier. An elegant wine, it has floral aromas and flavours of citrus and peach. The Secret de Famille Blanc has a bright yellow colour, with lively pear, spice, white flower and stone fruit aromas on the nose, and fine citrus acidity on the palate to match itsfull, fruity character. The 2015 is medium-to-full-bodied, with a long refreshing sherbet and pear finish.
NB: fans of Jaboulet's Parallele 45 white may like to note that this is exactly the same wine under a different (off-trade) label: the same is true of the Parallele 45/Secret de Famille red CdR.
We like this because there's an increasing market insistence on single-varietal white wines: finding a blend these days can be tricky. Obviously, we 'get' the whole notion of definition and purity... that's what's driving the single-varietal fascination. But some blends are excellent, and this Côtes du Rhone exemplifies that, especially at a price tag of £11. What's more, this is from Jaboulet, one of the truly great names of the Rhone and France overall. There are few opportunities to 'pick up a Jaboulet' at this price, we can tell you. It's got serious body and yet has all the attributes one typically expects from lighter wines - aroma, acidity, 'zing' and refreshment. There are few whites that do, but this really goes with everything.