The Pontificis VRM White 2018 is a $7.99 Trader Joe's exclusive sourced from grapes grown in the Languedoc region of southeastern France. The VRM stands for the grape blend, 45% Viognier, 40% Roussanne, and 15% Marsanne.The name of this wine and the blend are basically a shout-out to the White wines of the Southern Rhone Valley. The Rhone Valley is famous for its blends, the GSM which is Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre, along with this White blend.In the 1300s the Pope left Rome and set up shop in southern France. Chateauneuf-du-Pape is the most famous wine of the Rhone Valley and it translates to the house (or fort) of the new Pope. The Pope and his people had a heavy thirst for wine and they kick-started the wine industry in the region that continues to this day.The Pontificis VRM White 2018 is produced by Badet Clement a large wine company centered in Burgundy that makes its own wines as well as brand wines. They seem to make several other Trader Joe's wines and possibly some ALDI wines. They produce 16,000,000 bottles a year, so they are a fairly large player.The Pontificis is not from the Rhone Valley, it is a Vin De Pays D'Oc wine indicating that it is sourced from grapes grown in the Languedoc region. The Vin de Pays designation is one step below the AOC category of wines. It means the wine is representative of the grapes of the region but was not subjected to all the AOC rules and regulations.The typical French White wine will be leaner, and sleeker than the typical California White wine. French wines made specifically for export will often incorporate a slightly more rounded style to appeal to American palates. They do give any information about the conditions during the vintage year of details of the production methods. But as a 2018 vintage, it would seem that the wine took a little extra time to come together. The usual $7.99 White wine is made to have 2019 as the current vintage. A 2018 vintage shows there may have been a more complex production. The alcohol content is 13%.Pontificis VRM White 2018 Tasting NotesThe color is a fairly dark wheat yellow, it reminds me of a Chardonnay that has a good deal of oak barrel aging. The nose is crisp and clean, it reminiscent of a Sauvignon Blanc, though not as bold. There is peach, pear, lemon, tropical fruit, a little honey, and spring flowers.Drink this wine with a chill on it, not too cold you do not what to mask the flavors. The Pontificis VRM White 2018 is both sleek and firm and rounded and juicy, the flavors compete on your palate.It starts with green apple and pear, Meyer lemon, melon, and peach. The mid-palate has a slightly harder edge with dried citrus (nothing too juicy here), a touch of cream (did they stir the lees?), and tangerine.The acidity is nice, not quite lip-smacking good, but this is French, that is not their style. But the acidity allows the flavors to roll out and will get you reaching for another sip.The SummaryThere is a reason why this classic wine blend endure. You do not need a high-end expensive example to enjoy the pleasures of a Viognier, Pontificis VRM White 2018Roussanne, And Marsanne blend. The most eight dollar Trader Joe's get the job done.The Pontificis would work well as a Thanksgiving wine, the harvest flavors will pair well with many dishes and the acidity is cut through the more indulgent offerings.Trader Joe's has been selling the Pomtificis GSM and VSM for many years and they have been reliably good affordable and tasty wines.
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