bargain wine of the week: 2015 Joseph Cattin Pinot Blanc

Of course, a wine with “Cat” in the name has to get special treatment around here! What’s that, you say? Pinot what? Indeed, Pinot Noir and perhaps even Gris are more common, but Pinot Blanc isn’t something you see every day, unless you’re looking for it.

In nature, the P. Noir grape will occasionally have an entire spur present white grapes alongside otherwise deep purple counterparts. A genetic mutation of P. Noir, P. Blanc is the result of an unstable bit of DNA that then gets selected for, producing consistently white grapes. 

This Joseph Cattin wine is from Alsace, and has much in common with the region’s favorite grape, Riesling. A bit floral and bright in the nose, with citrus and (don’t laugh at me) something like fruit compote rounding out a clean, cheerful mouthful. I’m drinking this a bit on the old side— conventional wisdom says to enjoy these wines young, so when the 2016 shows up, I’ll abscond with a bottle or three. Still, this holds up well over time, and I’d absolutely buy the 2015 again. $16.

Thirsty Cellist score: 8/10

Pros: Beautiful, restrained, fresh. Yields to food rather than challenges it. Bright and summery. 

Cons: It’s not Chardonnay or NZ Sauv Blanc, so if those are your steadies, this might not seem as robust as what you’re used to. 

Recommendation: buy, try, maybe compare 2015 and 2016. Save the lovely long bottle for a single stem flower. 

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