Alluvium Blanc is creamy and smooth with touches of honey and toast. The firm finish makes this a great food wine.
NIEBAUM-COPPOLA BLANCANEAUX 1999 ($30)
For the past 10 years, film director Francis Ford Coppola has had a project "in development" - a wine, not a movie. He wanted a white wine to complement his flagship red, Rubicon. After many taste trials, the wine has finally arrived. Coppola calls it Blancaneaux. The name is a good choice for a white (blanc) blend, but it also happens, not coincidentally, to be the name of Coppola's mountain hideaway resort in Belize, the Blancaneaux Lodge.
Like the wines of Condrieu that Coppola loves, Blancaneaux is produced in limited supply. It's got a substantial base of familiar Chardonnay, around which three more exotic white Rhône varietals - Roussanne, Viognier, and Marsanne - are woven. The finished product is dense and highly extracted, with edgy fruit and a long, rich finish.
By the way, although it was originally Coppola's private retreat, the Blancaneaux Lodge is now open to the public (www.blancaneauxlodge.com).