A Pair of Excellent White Northern Rhônes from Jamet and Perret

White wines from the Northern Rhône are not always easy to understand. In part, I think this may be due to the fact that they do not travel well. But additionally, they usually are low in acidity, something that we do not expect from white wines. Nevertheless, even if you are someone who has had difficulty with whites from the Northern Rhône in the past, I urge you to try these wines, from two of the region’s greatest producers, should you manage to come across them.

Domaine JAMET/Corinne & Paul JAMET

2013 Côtes-du-Rhône

This wine is a mixture of Roussanne, Marsanne, and Viogner, maybe with a little Grenache Blanc. It has the richness of Rhône whites with good acidity and firmness and just a touch of ginger spiciness to go with lime blossom and incipient apricot fruit. This is very impressive wine. Be sure not to serve it too cold. Lot LRB13. 13% stated alcohol.  90/A

2013 Saint-Joseph

Perret’s Saint-Joseph blanc is from vines averaging 25-30 years of age, grown on granitic soils. Half are Roussanne and half are Marsanne, and they are cultivated according to lutte raisonnée (non-organic intervention only as a last resort). The grapes are fermented half in stainless steel, half in barriques, of which 20% are new, and the wine is then aged in barriques, 20% of which are new. The resulting wine is one of great beauty, combining pear fruit with honey and white flowers, and perhaps just the very slightest hint of butter or oak. The wine has oiliness but also freshness and an edge from the very good acidity. It is a perfect accompaniment to grilled seafood, but should also work well with a variety of cheeses. The wine should improve still for a year or two and then presumably hold for a while. 13.5% stated alcohol. Lot L SJB13. 91/A