Domaine de la Salette 2004 Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne ($7.99)
Stoppered with a composite-style synthetic cork, this simple white from Gascogne is made primarily from the lightly regarded Colombard grape; the Gascons, who traditionally use Colombard and Ugni Blanc (Trebbiano) as base wines for Cognac, have taken to bottling them as table wines. This clear, straw-color wine from producer Michel Duffour shows a tinge of brass-green in the glass. Initially its aroma is reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc in the "green," "catbox" style, but as it warms in the glass it shifts toward the musky side with some aroma associations that I find less appealing. Musky aromas tend to be love-them-or-hate-them, depending on individual perceptions, but to my taste buds it's in the hate-them realm of sweaty wool socks. Not undrinkable, and it comes at a very affordable price, but I suggest considering how you feel about musk before making your buying decision. US Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils Ltd., Winchester, Va. (Jul 14, 2005)

FOOD MATCH: Works with a pasta with ham and fresh veggies in a Comté cheese sauce, but the wine is just funky enough to overcome even such a deliciously earthy cheese.



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