Domaine Montrose 'Salamandre' 2000 Blanc
This wine gives me a nice surprise.
The Domaine was founded 1701 by Bernard Coste.
Its 'logo' is made of an emblem of 3 lizards, which was granted by Louis 14 in consideration of the ancestors' contribution as 'consultant' to the Royal Family.
The 'Salamandre' Series is made up of six grapes(chardonnay, SB, Viognier, Grenache Blanc, Vermentino, Muscat Petit Grain). You almost can feel the bitterness of chardonnay at the back of your palate, the acidity of the SB, the white flowers of Viognier, the herbs of Vermentino, the body of Grenche Blanc, and of course the honey tones of Muscat Petit grains). This series was coined the 'First Wine'.
Domaine Montrose offers 3 levels of wine, which is classic for most smaller producers.
Vintage 1999 was the first vintage in celebration of 300 years' founding of the Domaine; Vintage 2000 the second vintage.
The packaging is really high class: the wood is very polished and fine-grained; it is a six-pack.
The terroir varied from 20 metres to 100 metres above ground. the white grapes are planted mainly on chalk and marl soil, so the palate is very delicate and is supposed to be fruity. Note this blend had maximized the varied terroir amd soil condition.
Should vintage 2000 have been eve more fruity, this wine could have been priced for some at $200or above. Chardonnay grape is planted is on basaltic, volcanic soil, so the chardonnay in the blend should give a boarder, bold taste, adding minerality to the palate.
Fermentation is 15 to 18 degrees-low by Southern France standard- and acidity and fruit is fine. ABV is at 13 degree, if my memory does not fail me.
The site is just 15 Kilometres north to the Mediterranean shore, so the vineyard is conditioned by cool winds.
About the word Montrose. The Mont here is Mountain-a volcano-so think Chardonnay; the Rose there is a lot of rose(the flowers) as well as almond trees. A bit almondy as well?
Of bright, deep gold colour, the wine is still healthy and shiny. It tastes round, and is well balanced with long hints of honey and white flowers. On palate, a cream attack with mild acidity, minerlity and nuttiness. Almost sweetish, with a touch of lightness.
It has loads of taste for the class VDP; surely what really does it want and lead to is another matter.