Jeff’s Corner 7-30-21

Hey, Hey, Hey,
Today is
Cuvée Day…..

That’s right, today we’re going to take a peek at our lovely new 2020 GCV Cuvée Blanc. One of the oldest wines in our portfolio, it dates back to the mid 1990’s and was created by our founder Ned Simes.

In the early years, our Cuvée was kind of a “kitchen sink” blend of whatever quality fruit was available that vintage, but Jason stabilized the blend to primarily Viognier, blended with Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and dry Muscat Canelli. In recent vintages, however, we have seen guest appearances from Trebbiano and Riesling.

In this vintage, the dominant grape variety is Roussanne, the new varietal for us that I hinted at last month. Native to the Rhone Valley in southeastern France, Roussanne has done well for other Texas Hill Country wineries and adds a unique dimension to our historic Cuvée Blanc.

In northern Rhone, Roussanne is typically blended with Marsanne to produce a rich, yet delicate white wine, while in southern Rhone it is often found in the legendary red wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The grape is an intriguing russet in color, and its name is probably derived from “roux”, the French word for russet.

For many years I thought (and taught) that cuvée was a derivative of the word “cuverie”, which is the French word for the fermentation and production room. I was wrong, and to everyone that attended my wine class last month, I apologize. The word actually evolved from “cuve”, which translates as vat, or tank. All three words, however, are obviously related in origin.

Like the word ”reserve” on a wine label, cuvée has no legal stipulations behind it. It can be a simple marketing phrase or it can be a designation of quality. We have to be familiar with the producer to make the distinction between the two. For Grape Creek, Cuvée Blanc is a proprietary name meaning “white blend”.

Our brand new 2020 Cuvée Blanc is an exclusive blend of seven varietals, including 29.4% Roussanne, 23.9% Chenin Blanc, 18.4% Viognier, 13% Pinot Grigio, 5.9% Trebbiano, 5.8% Sauvignon Blanc, and 3.6% Riesling. The ABV is a food-friendly 12.6%.

A delightful pale straw in color, delicate aromas of pear, cantaloupe, and kiwi are layered with honeysuckle, orange blossom, and lemon grass. A richly textured mouth feel is dominated by brisk acidity that yields a long, tantalizing finish. This would best be served between 45 and 50*.

For a great food pairing with our new Cuvée, I recommend Wine Club Members make a Friday or Saturday dinner reservation at our vineyard restaurant, Stout’s Signature, and try it with the marinated salmon that is topped with gremolata and accompanied by parmesan risotto and fresh asparagus.