Review: Wines of Barton & Guestier, 2015 Releases

barton g_cotesdurhone_passeport_NVBarton & Guestier is France’s oldest wine merchant company, but it’s also a wine producer, too. B&G makes a wide range of wine varieties, including wines from Bordeaux, the Loire, Provence, and the Rhone Valley under a number of labels. Today we look at a couple of new wines and a couple of older labels. Thoughts follow.

2014 Barton & Guestier Vouvray – This low-alcohol, 100% chenin blanc wine has quite a bit of sweetness to it, so arrive with your palate forewarned. Crisp apple is backed with notes of peaches, lychee, and pineapple, with some restrained florals particularly evident on the nose. Simple all around, but easy to enjoy. Summer wine. B / $10

2014 La Villa Barton Cotes de Provence Rose – 45% grenache, 30% syrah, 25% cinsault. Surprisingly dry, this wine cuts a profile of gentle florals, some melon notes, and some tart grapefruit on the finish. Simple and featuring a short finish, this one’s best ice cold. B / $20

2014 Barton & Guestier Cotes-du-Rhone – 50% grenache, 30% syrah, 20% carignan. This is a meaty, traditionally styled wine from the Rhone Valley that offers an earthy, leathery core that complements some simple but lively, strawberry-focused fruit elements. Simple and easy-drinking, but well structured and balanced between its two primary elements; particularly appealing at this price. B+ / $11

NV Barton & Guestier 290th Heritage Rhone Blend – Technically a non-vintage wine. 80% syrah, 20% grenache. Surprisingly restrained, with a leathery, tobacco-laden core that is dotted with some light fruit notes, cigar smoke, and a touch of sea salt. Dried blueberries and some chocolate on the finish add some nuance, but overall this wine is dialed way back. B / $20

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