I went to The Twisted Vine Bistro in downtown Fort Myers, FL, for a late lunch yesterday. And also to taste some new wine with owners Steve and Denise Hollister. Steve couldn't wait to share his latest acquisition, Allamand Cuvee Saint Jeannet.
He explained that Saint Jeannet is a French grape that was thought to have been completely eradicated. That is until the owners of Allamand found it growing on a hillside of their property in Mendoza, Argentina. They had the strange grape with thick skin genetically tested to determine its origin.
There aren't many vines but vintners harvest what they can and in this case, blended it 50/50 with Chardonnay from 90 year-old vines. The result is a fresh and creamy blend, with some spice on the finish. I could pick out the rich Chardonnay immediately but it did not overpower the citrus and tropical fruits in the Saint Jeannet. OK for sipping in this hot weather but I liked it best with food.
After the wine rep told Steve there were only three cases in Florida, he said, "I'll take them all (waving his hands in the air)." The shipment should be in next week. As of yesterday he had planned to serve it by the glass and the bottle, $12/$48.
If you like to try different, unique and hard to get wines, you have to stop by and try this one a go, before I drink it all!