The 2009 Paul Jaboulet Parallele 45 Blanc is a White Blend containing 50% Grenache Blanc (one of the main White grapes of the Cotes du Rhone), 20% Marsanne, 20% Viognier and 10% Bourboulenc (a White blending grape from the south of France, gives the wine body and smoky citrus flavors) grown in vineyards in the Cotes du Rhone in Southern France. Jaboulet has been producing wine for several centuries and this particular label has been in production since the 50’s. The 45th Parallel is a few miles north of Jaboulet’s cellars and is the dividing line between the North and South Rhone. The wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks and was aged for 3 months, 50% in oak barrels the remainder aged in stainless steel. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is the juice from canned peaches with a slight green apple tint. The nose is fresh, sliced apples, pear, a hint of lime, lemon chiffon pie and bouquet of cut flowers. It tastes of light, delicate unsweetened pineapple juice, tart apple, dried apricot and lemon. The mid palate adds a soft slap of minerality, a bit of an oily texture and taste of peach, mixed with grapefruit. There is a solid amount of balanced acidity and since this blend is from the south of France, this is of course, a food wine. The finish is the peach and grapefruit and manages to linger until your next sip.
The Cote du Rhone just may be the best place to find excellent, inexpensive Red wines, but they also produce interesting White wines. The Jaboulet Parallele 45 shows a balanced blend of enticing flavors and textures, definitely not the same old thing. It is very well priced, I found it for $9, but check the vintage on the bottle, the current vintage is 2011, this wine will start to deteriorate after 3 years in the bottle, so if you grab a 2009 be sure to drink it before too long.