Produced by Les Vignerons de Tautavel Vingrau cooperative in the Cotes Catalanes appellation of France - just across the Pyrenees from Catalonia in Spain - comes a wine that is new to Utah: Le Cirque 2010 Grenache Gris ($12.99). "Le Cirque" refers to the vast, amphitheater-shaped bowl of vineyards where this wine's grapes (100% Grenache Gris) are grown.
The Wine Advocate awarded Le Cirque 2010 90 points this past June and proclaimed it to be "luscious and infectiously juicy ... an amazing value." With accolades like those, I thought I'd better pop a cork on a bottle of Le Cirque. Or, more accurately, unscrew the twist-off cap.
The wine is aged in stainless steel, with no malolactic fermentation, so don't go looking for the oaky, creamy flavors or texture that you might associate with Chardonnay. However, the wine does have a lot of body and is quite aromatic. Give it a good sniff and you'll find lots of pretty floral notes -- some honeysuckle in there.
I taste ripe melons, some pineapple, and white peach on the palate. If you're really paying attention, you might notice a little green tang at the end of a sip. There's a hint of something that tastes like charred Anaheim pepper in the finish. Pretty cool.
The Le Cirque was mighty tasty alongside a herb-crusted grilled pork loin. However, I'd really like to try it next to a big bowl of bouillabaisse, or fish prepared Provencal-style. This is a great value and, at $12.99, it's priced two or three bucks less here than I've seen in other states. This is a very appealing white wine that should be a real crowd-pleaser. Bottom line: There is much to love about Le Cirque.