First, experience shows that the “oiliness” that is so typical of top quality Simone Blanc develops slowly and intensifies as the wine ages; texturally the mineral drive one divines in the youthful stages and which makes for a more linear sensation recedes as the density of the wine increases, a development which, in turn, yields a wine with petrol-like thickness accompanied by a honeyed, pine resin background flavor profile. That is the ultimate expression of the profound Simone Blanc. This is a wine that is constructed and is naturally built to age; and it is with age that the wine takes on its greatness. Remember this fact: the vineyards are north-facing, a physical element that provides freshness to the wine rather than the candied, alcoholic fruit of so many of the white wines (and reds) of the south.
The joy and advantage of this particular offering lie in the opportunity to purchase a remarkable wine at an historically attractive price, thus making it easier to cellar this wine in an affordable way. Of course, it also enables restaurants and retail wine merchants to introduce these wines to the public at an early stage, a result that should enable all of us to spread the gospel and make Simone more well-known than it is today.
With respect to the Rouge 2012, Kerry and I drank a bottle the other day and it is, as Clarke points out, eminently drinkable. This is a vintage that is more open and less “sauvage” at this point. It is important to point out, as well, that the red is released one year later than the white so has the advantage of an extra year before it is exposed to the marketplace. We found this wine enthusiastically spicy with good but not challenging backbone … a wine that cannot fail to please, in my view.
My notes on the new arrivals below… ALSO: did you know that the Rougiers don’t de-leaf? (Like Le Puy…) I thought that was interesting.
2013 Blanc: a leaner, purer, more direct nose than the 2014. More firmly mineral yet also slightly more resinous, with a greater impression of concentration. The classic pine resin note is present, but the wine doesn’t yet show petrol—it’s more straightforwardly mineral-driven at this point. 40 hl/ha yield.
2012 Rouge: a very open, seductive nose of dusty black cherries, garrigue, and cedary spice. The black cherry continues on the palate, with supple, open-knit fruit and a luscious, mouthwatering character. This is very approachable and attractive for a young Simone, similarly structured to the 2010 but less firm and inward. I hate to use the “Burgundian” cliché, but this truly is reminiscent of a Burgundian-style Chateauneuf-du-Pape with a bit of Bandol wildness thrown in.
Hope this helps…