Clairette features in the Wine and Viticulture Journal

The Wine and Viticulture Journal, published quartely by [W] winetitles media, runs a regular feature on alterantive grape varieties.

For the Winter edition, we at Jb Wines were invited to write about our experimenece with Clairette. 

Clairette is a classic white variety from the Southern Rhône. It is one of the oldest varieties grown in France, dating back to Roman times. Clairette is grown in southern Rhône AOCs (Clairette de Bellegarde) in the Hérault (Clairette du Languedoc) and in the Minervois. Traditionally it has been used to make the sparkling “Clairette de Die” or blended with other white and red varieties. Clairette is one of the permitted grapes in Châteauneuf du Pape. It is also used to make vermouth, which explains the surprising savoury back palate of fennel, olives, peach and herbs. Currently, there are only a few small vineyards of Clairette in Australia.

In the article we describe how we were introduced to Clairette, our Clairette plantings, growing and harvesting the grapes, and how our single variey Jb Wines Clairette is made. Our comments are accompanied by a short history of the evolution of Clairette,  and the diffetent styles of wines made from the Clairette grape, by Peter Dray, Emeritus Fellow, the Ausralian Wine Research Instiute.

We produced 90 cases of ourJb Wines Joseph’s Clairette 2016. The appearance is clear, light straw yellow with a touch of green hues. The nose is citrus - lemon, grapefruit, and pear with a low intensity.  The taste initially impacts with sweet stone fruits especially white peach, with pear, lemon rind, and a touch of honey. However, the savoury back palate is very significant so the wine does not resemble more common white wines at all. The Clairette wine has often been described as the “red wine drinkers’ white”. Clairette is magnificent as an aperitif – with cheeses, olives, pâté, ……, and also with risottos and chicken dishes. It seems particularly enjoyable at lunch.

Check out our Joseph’s Clairette 2016here.