Bruce’s Pick: 2015 Paul Jaboulet Aine Saint-Peray “Les Sauvageres,” $25.00

The Saint-Peray appelation in the northern Rhône is not what would have come to mind if I was sitting down to a meal with a white Rhône wine. But there I was . . .with this wine, and it certainly was an eye-opener for me. The entire appelation is comprised of less than 200 acres of Marsanne and Roussanne grapes, and much of the production is made into sparkling wine which I have enjoyed on occasion while traveling in France. It is said that the sparkling wines of Saint Peray were the first wines that Napoleon Bonaparte experienced as a young cadet in nearby Valance. Our wine, however, was a still wine, made from 100 percent Marsanne grapes, and we chose to pair it with the cheese course after dinner and multiple reds. The wine not only paired perfectly with the assortment of cheeses, but it was a refreshing change of pace with its bright mineral-accented notes of orchard and pit fruits and lively spine of acidity.  A pleasant nuttiness and background of white flowers added interest and complexity to the finish. The granitic and limestone soils and unique exposure in this tiny appelation have resulted in wines that now have my full attention. These wines are meant to be enjoyed young. As in...............RIGHT NOW!