Wine and Walnuts

A blog about eating, drinking, cooking and reading in the not so Deep South

Be Special: Drink Cotes du Rhone Blanc

Cotes du Rhone Blanc Les Abeilles 2008
Cotes du Rhone Blanc Les Abeilles 2008

Jean Luc Colombo Cotes du Rhone Blanc Les Abeilles 2008

In keeping with my summertime experiment of finding whites to love, I recently tried this white Cotes du Rhone (France). I’ve had many, many a red Cotes du Rhone, but a white one?  Never.

Like red Cotes du Rhones, white CDR’s are a blend of grapes.  This particular version is a blend of 40 % Clairette, 30% Grenache Blanc, 20% Viognier , and 10% Roussanne.

Now, I consulted both of my tip-top go to wine resources – Kevin Zraly’s Windows on the World Complete Wine Course, and Mark Oldman’s Oldman’s Guide to Outsmarting Wine (both of which I highly recommend) to find more information for you (and me!) on white Cotes du Rhones. 

But here’s the thing, white CDR’s aren’t really mentioned in Oldman’s book at all, and in even Zraly’s bible/tome, they get a very passing mention.  As in here’s a chart of the major wine regions in France, and the Cotes du Rhone region produces “mostly reds.”  Yep,

What gives?

What this tells me, if nothing else, is that not a lot of people know about white CDR’s, and even fewer people drink them, so if you do, you are really special.  Let’s just go with that, shall we?  ; )

I bought this wine locally, for around $14, at Temptations in Porter’s Neck.

Since I had nothing else to compare this wine to, and finding no real information about white CDR’s elsewhere, I’m going to rely on the info I found on the Jean Luc Colombo website, see below.  You’ll also find below some food pairing guidance from the winery.

Les Abeilles Blanc – 2008

Vines and Cellar
(From Jean-Luc Colombo website)

Grape varieties: 40% Clairette, 30% Grenache Blanc, 20% Viognier, 10% Roussanne
Terroir: The vineyards are located in the heart of the Côtes du Rhône; Cairanne, Rasteau, Vacqueyras.
The grapes are harvested manually in small cases, respecting the quality of the fruit.
Upon reception in the winery, the grapes are vinified at low temperature in stainless steel, temperature controlled vats.


Robe: Beautiful, brillant, light yellow with hint of green.
Nose : The nose offers fine and intense floral aromas and notes of fresh fruits like candied lemon with a nice freshness.
Palate: Nicely rounded and fresh., it surprises by it is complexity, its freshness and lively structure.
This wine will continue to develop its’ palette of aromas.

Mackerel sushi, Wasabi de Thon and Casserole of Kobe Beef.

Back of bottle notes:

Les Abeilles, or “the bees” in French, is a virtuoso white wine of traditional southern Rhone white grapes.  Supple, harmonious and full-bodied, with floral and fruity aromas.  Complements a wide array of hors d’oeuvres and salads, as well as fish dishes, white meats, and Asian-influenced dishes.


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About The Author

Kimberly Houston


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