Michelas St Jemms Crozes-Hermitage Blanc Review
I tend to prefer Rhône grapes grown in California to those grown in France, and this was no exception. It’s always a treat to drink bottles from a wine’s ancestral home, though.
Wine review by: Jessyca Frederick |
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About this Wine
Wine: 2021 Crozes-Hermitage Blanc
Blend: 75% Marsanne, 25% Roussanne
Region: Cru Crozes-Hermitage, North Côtes du Rhône, Rhône Valley, France
Retail price: $39
I consumed it: March 2023
My source: SomMailier Wine Club
The Back Label
Where to Buy It
Buy it at: SomMailier
From this wine club: SomMailier Wine Club
From this winery: Michelas St Jemms
Wine color/style: White wine
Grape variety or blend: White blends
Other characteristics: Cru
Crozes-Hermitage Blanc: What I think
My wine tastes learn toward eclectic, within reason. My favorite white wine grapes all come from the Rhône Valley in France — Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne, Picpoul, and Clairette Blanche. Naturally, if I see a Rhône white blend somewhere, I get excited.
While I love the grapes from the Rhône (the red ones, too), I definitely have more experience with the ones grown in California and I tend to prefer them. When this one arrived from SomMailier — a wine seller whose selections are always top-notch — I was ready to pop the cork. Adventure awaited.
One of the reasons it’s so important to try wines from all over the world is so that you learn the boundaries of what you like and what you don’t. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I didn’t like this wine (it was quite well-made), I just didn’t prefer it to similar wines from California.
I found the wine overly waxy, to the point of being a bit bitter. For some people, that’s a great characteristic, but for me, bitter rarely works. Not all Roussanne or Marsanne is this bitter and typically when the point of blending is to try to temper that a bit.
I also found the wine to be less viscous than most others I’ve tasted. Part of the appeal of the Rhône white grapes is that they have more mouthfeel than you expect from a lighter white wine like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. In general, the fruitiness and acidity were subdued, too.
Michelas St Jemms is a family winery in the Northern Rhône Valley who produces wines from the AOC Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, Saint-Joseph, and Cornas wine regions. The winery has held a High Environmental Value (HVE) certification since 2014 and is now certified organic (AB) with it’s first organic vintage being 2022 (this wine predates it by one year).
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Why read my wine reviews: Wine taste is subjective. What I like may not be what you like. I try to leave room for you to form your own opinions, so I don’t provide a score or a rating. I do point out wines that are an incredible value or truly not worth the money. I note flaws, wines that don’t have typicity (because this matters if you are buying wine without having tasted it yourself), when wines are out of balance, and when wines lack appropriate body.
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