Greatness, Complicated: 2012 Château Simone Palette Blanc

Posted by Joe Salamone

Greatness, Complicated
2012 Château Simone Palette Blanc

Simone Blanc confounds expectations. From deep within sun-soaked Provence comes this white wine of shocking verve and aristocratic breeding.

There's simply nothing like Simone Blanc. It might be a wine that's somewhat complicated to wrap your mind around at first, but its greatness, ageability and value quickly impresses itself on you.

The Rougier family of Château Simone has made wine in Palette for two centuries and they basically define this small and singular appellation. Their mastery of the terroir is clear in the wine's effortless grace and seamlessness.

Trying to situate Simone Blanc in a larger context is difficult, but a good jumping off point is to draw attention to the similarities with Hermitage Blanc and Bordeaux Blanc. They all share a regal stature.

What makes Simone Blanc stand alone is the ultra-fine acidity that courses through it and the wild spectrum of complexity it offers.

The 2012 vintage of Simone Blanc represents a consolidation of the wine's distinctive traits with a boldness and harmony that we haven't encountered in a very long time. 2008 and 2010 Simone Blanc were sleek and compact vintages of the wine. 2012 is about density, grandeur and freshness. In 2012, the singularity of Simone Blanc is unmistakable.

The 2012 is a profoundly textural and complex example of this wine. The minerality, herbs, pine resin and various stone fruits possess an emphatically caressing depth. The signature thread of bright and noble acidity is always in the background and comes to the forefront in the long and classy finish.

The explanation for Simone's uniqueness begins with the fact that the limestone vineyards are unusual in that they face north and thus experience much less of Provence's intense sunlight. The blend is also pretty unusual. It's mainly Clairette along with Grenache Blanc, Ugni Blanc, Bourboulenc, Muscat Blanc, Picpoul, Furmint and Sémillon. Some from vines over 150 years old.

Simone's Blanc is a wine that we constantly return to. We find its aristocratic breeding, the way it transforms with a decade plus in the cellar and its sheer individuality endlessly compelling. It's a wine I'm always happy to offer.

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

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits

2012 Château Simone Palette Blanc