Charles Hours' Jurancon Sec Cuvee Marie 2011 is an interesting white wine from southwestern France. It is golden in color and is a full-bodied white with lots of subtle fruit and floral flavors. The area is known for sweet wines but this one is dry as a bone.
When I say "subtle' I don't mean undetectable but that there are multiple competing flavors like citrus flowers competing with ripe cantaloupe. There is spice here--pepperiness--along with herbaceous flavors and even some honey. When someone says "herbaceous" think of the green spices in your kitchen cabinet. I also thought "citrus flowers" and I will stick by that but maybe honeysuckle would work too. There is a great deal going on in this wine and it takes more than a sip to get at all of it (for those without a "super palate").
The finish has a sharp bitterness that is an interesting follow up to the fruit and floral qualities. Throughout you will find a crisp acidity that holds all of the various tastes, from fruit to pepper, together.
It has a much smoother taste although the fruit, spice and floral notes remain. All wines change after being opened but it is a rare thing for a white to change like this after opening.
The wine is from three grapes: gros manseng, petit manseng and petit courbu. Gros and petit manseng are often blended--with the petit variety producing more nuance. Courbu is likely the wine that adds the honeysuckle taste and is another grape grown in Southwest France (in Gascony, the home of Cyrano de Bergerac).
There are claims that Jurancon is one of the oldest AOCs--demarked wine-making areas in France with specific grapes and rules on winemaking.