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Wine of the week: Little James Basket Press White 2016

Little James Basket Press whiteThe Little James Basket Press white once again offers quality, value and terroir for $10

The Wine Curmudgeon has never been able to figure out why the Little James Basket Press white keeps improving in quality while its companion red keeps getting less interesting. One would think both would improve – or not.

The Little James Basket Press white ($10, purchased, 13%) is a sauvignon blanc and viognier blend from southern France. It’s made by Sainte Cosme, a top-notch Rhone winemaker that makes high-end wines that get critical raves (and which makes the red’s drop in quality even more disappointing). That the producer spends the time and effort to make $10 wine is as welcome as it is surprising.

This vintage of the white is fresher and more tart (lemon?) than the 2015, which means more sauvignon blanc character. The viognier lends a floral aroma; if it doesn’t soften the wine, it does balance it. What doesn’t it taste like? The pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc that it’s compared to on the importer’s website. It’s French, and doesn’t resemble Italian or New Zealand wine. Which it’s not supposed to anyway.

Highly recommended, and a candidate for the 2019 $10 Hall of Fame.

Imported by The Winebow Group

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