Domaine Pélaquié, Côtes du Rhône Villages Laudun Blanc (Rhône Valley, France) 2021 

($15):  French wine regulators allow 22 (at current count) villages that produce sufficiently distinctive wine to put their name on the label along with the appellation Côtes du Rhône Villages.  It is an elite club, accounting for only about ten percent of the wine from the Rhône Valley.  Laudun, one of those 22 villages, is an outlier of sorts because it produces more white wine than average, 28 percent versus 7 percent for the entire Rhône.  Domaine Pélaquié’s lively 2021 is delicately aromatic with subtle peachy overtones all balanced by invigorating freshness.  Patches of limestone within the village impart a saline-like acidity that adds to the wine’s vivacity.  There’s a delectable hint of bitterness in the finish, likely due to a large amount of Clairette (35 percent) in the blend.  For completeness, the remainder of the blend is Grenache Blanc, 25 percent; Viognier, 12 percent; Roussanne, 15 percent; Marsanne, 8 percent; and Bourboulenc.  Domaine Pélaquié’s Côtes du Rhône Villages Laudun Blanc is one in which the price has yet to catch up to the quality.  Don’t miss it.
92 Michael Apstein Apr 11, 2023