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Clairette Blanche, 2020. Prism

Clairette Blanche, 2020. Prism

Item #: C0822W1
Vintage: 2020
Varietal: Clairette Blanche
Vineyard/Appellation: Santa Barbara County, California
Color: Very Pale
Nose: Minerals
Palate: Shy Fruit
Finish: Tart, Tight
Rating: 97
Cellaring/Serving Suggestions: Now thru 2024/Seafood, Vegetarian/13% Alcohol by Volume

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  • Description
  • Reviews

Prism comes to us from superstar winemaker, Bryan Babcock. He is now approaching his 40th vintage. Walt Babcock, his dentist father, purchased the property in the late 1970s as a future retirement spot. But, any who knew Walt also knew that retiring was not a name we would use to describe him.

His interest in fine wine made him look around to find a vineyard consultant for suggestions. However, once again, he listened to everybody and planted some 10 different varietals. When the vines came of age in 1983 he sold some Chardonnay to a new winery nearby. That wine went on to win a gold medal at the LA County Fair. That's all it took.

Bryan was taking enology courses at UC Davis in 1984 when his father called him in a panic. It seemed that all of the grapes in all varieties were ready to pick at the same time. Nobody had time to make wines from his grapes so he was going make them himself. As they say, "necessity is the mother of invention." Bryan made all the wines and it's been a thrill to taste them ever since.

Clairette Blanche is an exotic grape found primarily in the Cotes du Rhone. It is often blended with other grapes of the area; however, Bryan loved the purity it showed all by itself. The grape's piquant acidity dictates that it must be ripe at harvest. Obviously, the lovely peach and guava flavors are held in check by the sharp finish. Steamed mussels or our shrimp recipe would be perfect.

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