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  • By Jon Rimmerman
    2/4/2010, (See more on Garagiste...)

    (RICARD Le Petiot TOURAINE) 2009

    Dear Friends,

    This wine is good. I mean really good...and it's $9.99.

    Is it the best $9.99 white wine on the market right now? That's a loaded question that requires extended contemplation but it's a worthy contender in the Sauvignon Blanc class (and that speaks volumes - considering I've just tasted what seems like thousands of high-quality, inexpensive whites over the past 4-5 weeks). One thing is for sure, I am stocking my cellar with as much as I can get (If you will allow me the pleasure of siphoning off a few bottles?). Not only is it a bargain stunner now, but Ricard's 2009 "little devil" will only improve over the next 2-4 years and it's a far more layered and textural example than something like Muscadet, which relies on its piquant, pulverized rock frame and not necessarily the seduction of its texture. This wine gives you both: rock and sauce in a low-alcohol frame.

    The 2009 vintage rears it's broad-swathed paws here and if the Le Petiot is any indication of what's to come with the more "serious" entrants next year, look out. For many of us, this is as good as we will ever require. At $9.99, it's easy to justify this as a cure-all for the everyday wine-economy blues.

    From 30-40 year old Sauvignon Blanc vines near ThÄsÄe la Romaine (and a dash of 10-20 year old vines of equal worth), this traditionally raised wine is freshness personified...but there's more here, much more. If you veer toward Sancerre, Pouilly Fume or anything for that matter, this is a house wine candidate from a superlative vintage - in other words, the wine is far better than it should be (ok, that's not accurate - this wine is always very good, even excellent, but the 2009 is in another league - it has actual pent up muscle woven into a filigreed and piquant Sauvignon frame). I adore winter but this wine makes me long for summer when the 2009 Le Petiot will be a shining star. It's a fresh, green-tinged treat with aspirations far beyond it's lowly tariff - if it means anything, I am not alone in this assessment - the wine is almost sold out at the winery and it was only picked from the vine a few months ago (there are even bottles in the US already - that's a record).

    I'd like to go on but we don't have very much of this wine (relative to previous vintages that were immensely popular with our email list). Emerging markets have discovered the 2009 vintage in general and new-found pressures from China, Russia and even South America have the US market scrambling to retain whatever it can. Money talks right now and the US economy is forcing producers to make decisions they'd rather not be faced with.

    All told, I will be very surprised if this isn't one of the most requested re-order wines of 2010 but I will state in advance - we cannot obtain a second shipment - this is it.

    Clos Roche Blanche Touraine fans pay special attention as well.

    VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for gorgeous typicity and finesse meshed with a sneaky streak of muscle (not to mention a surprising ability to age as well).

    This parcel is directly from the winery cellar with perfect provenance:

    2009 Domaine Ricard "Le Petiot" Touraine (blanc)

    Thank you,

    Jon Rimmerman
    Seattle, WA


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