Stone Hill Vidal Blanc
Herman, Missouri, 2008, $6.99 for 750 ml, 13.5% Alc
Dry White Wine
During a recent road-trip to Missouri, I spied this vino at a grocery store. Resisting the instinct to purchase only luscious local reds, I grabbed a bottle and resolved to give it a try. After all, a day riding bikes on the [stupendously fantastic] Katy Trail works up a thirst for something cool, crisp and refreshing!
The Vidal Blanc, described on the label as a dry white wine that is “fruity with a hint of spice”, was, to my parched palate, exactly what I had hoped for. It was pleasantly tart, mixed with what I can only best describe as a round, fruity flavor akin to cantaloupe and something else mildly tropical — perhaps lychee (honest!), although I must disclose that this description gives me some feeling of AntiWineSnob hypocrisy. Plus, I believe it was the aroma more than the flavor that conjured that last one to mind. The heat exhaustion might have helped with that, too ….
Back to Stone Hill’s Vidal Blanc: While certainly not a sweet wine, I would agree that the aroma and the flavor were fruity, but what “a hint of spice” is supposed to mean eludes me. I did not decipher anything that would remind me of pepper or coriander or clove or anise or anything else that I might daydream of procuring at some exotic, faraway locale.
Regarding the actual identity of the wine itself, I am still a bit unsure of what exactly Vidal Blanc is. I understand from some brief research that Vidal Blac is actually a fusion of Ugni Blanc, a widely used European grape that is apparently used primarily in cognac, and Rayon D’Or, which I have had difficulty finding much information on, other than one website that cited it as “rare”. Hmm…. Well, if anyone has other information on this elusive grape, please feel free to post it in the comments. It would be appreciated.
Bottom Line: If you are looking for a dry white wine that is a little less off the beaten path (than, say, Chardonnay), but hanker for a quaff that’s still casual, bright and fruity, then you may want to give Stone Hill’s Vidal Blanc a try.
wine’s website: www.stonehillwinery.com