Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Deception

by David Scott Allen

Winery: Château Margüi
Cuvée: L’Or des Pierres
Appellation: Côteaux Varois en Provence
Type: White
Vintage: 2014
Grape Varieties: 90% Rolle (Vermentino), 10% Ugni Blanc
Alcohol content: 13.5%
Average Retail Price: $20

Susan brought back this bottle for me from her most recent trip to Provence. A little something to thank me for being a part of the Provence WineZine family. Honestly, I am so lucky to be part of this endeavor, as I am constantly learning about wines, pairings, and my own palate.

The sad news (or good news, depending on how you look at it) is that it is hard to find in the U.S. (not impossible, though), so you will probably need to go to France to get yourself a bottle of this wine. You’re welcome.

I approached this wine pairing with some trepidation. I was looking for a wine to pair with my Sea Bass Poached in Saffron-Tomato Broth. Bold, complex flavors in this dish begged a bold, complex wine. Susan said she felt the L’Or des Pierres would be a good match for the flavors I described, and my online research confirmed this.

However, when I looked at the wine, its color was so light that I could not imagine it would have the body to hold up to the saffron, tomatoes, and shrimp broth.

As much as I have learned, in my two years of writing this column, that a beautiful label can herald a beautiful wine, I have also learned that appearances can be deceiving. And deceiving this wine is!

The color is that of flax – I am reminded of Debussy’s La Fille Aux Cheveux De Lin (Girl With The Flaxen Hair). It looks like a Sauvignon Blanc that has been cut 50% with water. But it is less on the green side, and more on the golden – golden like the stones for which it is named. Oh, is it beautiful in a glass! It almost seems to glow.

With pear on the nose and also in the first taste, it gets more complex with each sip. Honey and citrus – grapefruit – come forward, and the velvety texture of the soup accentuates the mineral mouth feel of this cunning wine. It has a beautiful balance of acidity, fruit, honey and flintiness. It is just what I sought – bold and complex, and perfect for this dish.

I saved some of the wine (we call that self control) and enjoyed it with a mushroom risotto – also a nice pairing. This is a great seafood wine, but can also be served with chicken and duck, and with cheese and fruits.

13 Comments

  1. What a shame that this wine is hard to find in the U.S. It sounds just like what I have been looking for to accompany a Moroccan fish tagine. (Whole fish on a bed of carrots, potatoes and onions with a chermoula sauce.) I will look in the Washington area for the wine and will let you all know if I find it. Thanks for the article, David.

  2. I tasted this at the Salon du Millésime Coteaux Varois en Provence this past spring and was impressed. As you said, much more flavorful as well as softer than you’d expect from its color, or lack of same. Phillipe Guillanton, proprietor of Château Margüi, said that the 2015 L’Or des Pierres, not yet released at that time due to barrel aging, was even better – “more honest, cleaner.” Not sure what that means but will let you know when I get my hands on a bottle!

  3. Hi David, I just realized that I had not reported back to you that we made this dish with halibut and it was exquisite. we opened another outstanding Rolle and Ugni Blanc wine and the pairing was divine. I shall make this again!

  4. My brother is visiting from the UK this Christmas. I am hoping he will be bringing this as a gift? Fingers crossed!

  5. Ha ha! As a child, I used to leave a nice glass of wine for Santa…. the thought of him bringing me wine now is kind of nice.

  6. I love Rolle! It’s under-appreciated and hard to find in the States. But there’s a lot of it in Provence – Château Romanin near St.-Rémy does an especially nice one.

    • Thanks, Keith. More and more Rolle wines are becoming available here, and I am bald to hear you speak of Château Romanin’s white, as I just had my first red of theirs at Christmastime in Paris. Happy New Year!

      • If you are near St.-Rémy you should consider visiting the winery. It’s in a gorgeous location, nestled up against the Alpilles. On the way to it you pass the aerodrome where the gliders take off – really fun to watch. Happy new year to you too!

        • Thanks, Keith. We are definitely due for another trip to Provence and we have never explored the St.-Rémy area. Sounds like it would be worth it for the wines alone!

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