I would feel comfortable putting this bottle on the table with almost any Mediterranean dish. Grilled kebabs? There is enough grip and savory character in the wine to match and highlight the roasted, meaty flavors of the kebabs. Moroccan Couscous with slow-cooked squash and chickpeas? The herbal undertones of the Croix Blanche will make the subtle spice in the dish sing. And even though I don't ever mix meat with dairy, for those of you who do, I can see the Croix Blanche being a great partner for a meat-topped pizza. With wonderful berry flavors, bright acidity and attractive herbal nuances, the 2010 La Croix Blanche is as versatile as it is pleasurable.
When tasting this wine for the first time, it was almost as if I was being introduced to a friend I already knew. The classic Bordeaux profile of dried red fruits over a background of herbal, slightly leafy flavors won me over right away. Bordeaux's so-called Right Bank lies at the cultivable limit of Merlot (any cooler and it wouldn't ripen), which gives these wines a satisfying combination of richness and rusticity.
La Croix Blanche is a small estate in Montagne-Saint-Emilion, a satellite appellation of the more famous (and considerably more expensive) Saint-Emilion. Even here, prices have crept up in recent years, and the rather modest price of La Croix Blanche is testament to the dedication and hard work of the Guimberteau family, the fifth-generation owners of the estate.