Château de Beaucastel produces a stupendous Châteauneuf-du-Pape blanc, and its Paso Robles property, Tablas Creek Vineyard, turns out a white in a similar spirit called "Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc." It's no mistake that so many Central Coast winemakers have gravitated toward Rhone varietals. This blend of primarily Roussanne with Grenache Blanc and a little of the livelier Picpoul Blanc is a great tribute to the Rhone with its scent of white peaches and honey, bracing minerality and lush texture. The 2009 changes in the glass, revealing more layers, more complexity.
It's wonderful with chilled Dungeness crab, a grilled lobster or a pile of peel 'n' eat shrimp. It's also a good match for Asian foods — and ginger. Some wine shops also have half bottles, if you don't want to commit to a full bottle.
Region: Central Coast
Style: Rich and lush
What it goes with: Dungeness crab, lobster, peel 'n' eat shrimp, Asian food.
Where to find it: Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463, http://www.hitimewine.net; K&L Wine Merchants in Hollywood, (323) 464-9463, http://www.klwines.com; Manhattan Fine Wines in Manhattan Beach, (310) 374-3454, http://www.manhattanfinewines.com; and Woodland Hills Wine Co. in Woodland Hills, (818) 222-1111, http://www.whwc.com.