Chateau Simone Pallete Blanc 2006: Is it Romance or Religion?

Chateau Simone

There are some rare moments in the process of deciding what to bring into the store when we lose all sight of rational, business sense and simply fall in love with a wine. Blind, uncontrollable romance is the only thing that could justify the mass purchase of a $70 Provincial white that only the wine nerdiest among us have even heard of. This is not Puligny-Montrachet, of which even the most casual wine drinkers are vaguely familiar, but a blend of the seemingly unidentifiable Grenache Blanc and Clairette from the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. For other zealots, it’s less of a romantic infatuation and more of a religious experience. When we told Neil Rosen, the longtime associate of importer Neil Rosenthal, that we were going to expose the latest release of the Chateau Simone Pallete Blanc to our best customers he lamented that there are not enough people “spreading the gospel of the Palette.” I recently took it to dinner with a group of wine geeks at the intimate village eatery August and the Simone was the star of the show. Somewhat surprisingly, the unctuous white paired just as well with the delicate Blue Point oysters as it did with the smoky, hearty Tarte Flambe, an Alsatian bacon tart covered in onions and creme fraiche. Not so surprisingly the wine showed its best after the check arrived, about three hours after we poured it, as the one smart drinker among us passed the glass that he had saved around the table for a final taste.

When we had it with the oysters the first impression was not fruit but a spicy, nutty, slightly oxidized character that comes from 18 months of aging in French oak barrels sourced from the best Chateau in Bordeaux. Right out of the bottle, the Simone’s racy acidity and persistent minerality made it clear that this was a wine that would play nicely with a wide variety of cuisine. As the wine opened up the fruit began to emerge from the spice and the minerals, with green apples, lime zest and orange pith revealing themselves. By the final sip the palate displayed a hearty, almost honeyed, viscous character that can only be found in a truly great white. The finish lasts forever, displaying notes of apple cider and bright minerality. With few exceptions, the Chateau Simone Palette will age as long as any white in existence. If it was beginning to show its honeyed-nutty complexities after a few hours in the glass, imagine what a couple decades in the cellar will do.

By Will Sugerman (will@amantivino.com)

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2 Comments »

  1. I totally agree with this review. My wife and I recently shared a bottle. The first nose was intriguing but something we had never experienced. After 1-2 hours in the glass and open bottle the wine exploded in to a stunningly delicious wine.
    The bottle I received was a gift and I cannot find any retailer from whom to purchase a case. Do you know or can you sell this wine?
    Jim Colburn

    • amantivinoblog said

      Hi James,

      I am sorry that our blog has been out of commission for the last few months. I am a retailer and I have two bottles of the Simon Blanc left in stock. Where are you located? I am glad that you liked the wine. It is incredible stuff!!

      Will Sugerman (will@amantivino.com)

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