Complicated Greatness: Chateau Simone

Posted by CrushWine

One of the World's Great White Wines
2007 Château Simone Blanc
The Mysterious Soul of Provence
Lowest Price in the Nation

Tricky greatness. Sneaky greatness. Complicated greatness.

There's a difference between "obvious, well-known greatness" and what we'll call "complicated greatness."

The former are the icons (DRC La Tâche for example). These are the wines that can, for better or worse, devolve into labels and status symbols. The latter are the wines that skirt the periphery, that are profound because they remain so elusive, so indefinable, so mysterious.

Today we present one of the world's great white wines. You may have never heard of it.

So let us provide something of an introduction. Château Simone defines the tiny 43-hectare AOC of Palette, tucked into the very center of Provence (a few clicks south of Aix-en-Provence). The wine is a blend, a magical brew of at least five varietals, some from vines over 150 years old. (For more on what exactly the wine is made of, see below.)

This is a substantial, textural, lavish white wine. Château Simone's blanc calls to mind the best Hermitage Blancs, wines with both opulence and detail. This is a white that presents layer after layer of juicy fruit, kiwi, lychee, spiced apples, herbs detailed with pine resin and mineral (indeed the estate is famously surrounded by pine forests). It's hard to describe - as mysterious, as ethereal, as complicated is this wine is, it is also very clear. A fresh, bright green-yellow wash of acidity provides a beautiful tempo to the wine, a sort of relaxed yet elegant structure.

In a Mediterranean climate of explosive sunshine, the deep-forest freshness of this wine may be hard to explain. Surely the limestone soils help, offering the wine a cool, pushing acidity; the altitude and cooling effects of the forest also play a key part. Yet one of the stranger facts here is that the vineyards face north - a completely counter-intuitive notion for farmers in the northern hemisphere, yet this unique exposition means the vines get enough light, but not too much. Balance is what we're talking about.

Yet if all these factoids assist in understanding this wine, they do not explain it - they don't even get close to mysterious beauty of this wine, its unique greatness. Sitting with Neal Rosenthal the week before last, enjoying a 20-wine marathon through his portfolio, this is the bottle we all kept coming back to.

Honestly, I've never had a better bottle of Simone Blanc than this 2007.

Which is why we're determined to put this bottle in the hands of as many people as we can. The pricing is likely to never be better - it also disappears with this small parcel. While we've stocked many vintages of Château Simone, both the blanc and rouge, we've rarely had more than a few cases. This is a special treat for us.

Our single-bottle pricing is 10% below the lowest price out there - grab a four-pack and the price goes even lower. This is a wine that can most certainly age, so you are encouraged to grab as much as your cellar can take. Complicated greatness has a tendency to get, well, more complicated and even greater with time.

To place your order, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits

2007 Château Simone Blanc

Special Email Bottle Price: $53.95
Compare at $60 - $75

Special Email 4-Pack Price: $199.80 ($49.95/btl)

Clairette is the primary grape in the makeup, with the likes of Ugni Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Muscat, Picpoul, Furmint and Bourbelenc plus obscurities like Terret Bouret, Pascal and Aragnan all potentially mixed in. The exact lineup is not listed anywhere. Complicated greatness, as we said. Ask Neal Rosenthal what the wine is made up of and he'll respond: "Who cares, it tastes great." Fair enough.

Wine arrives next week!
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