Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Dubost Homestead White NV, Central Coast

It was a bottle of white wine, but the color was a deep gold, making it look aged. On the label, it simply said white wine, implying a blend but of what grape varieties? As for the vintage, there isn’t one. I immediately started to jump to conclusions. But, then I tasted the wine and to my surprise it was quite lovely and that is why the Dubost Homestead White NV is the Please The Palate wine of the week.

I regularly tell people to keep an open mind with wine. I always say you can’t judge a wine by its color. I have encouraged people to keep an open mind to darker colored Rosé wines. I have sung the praises of light red wines, especially from Italy, explaining that the lack of intensity of the color does not mean the wine is lacking texture and body. But, when I first look at the bottle of Dubost Homestead White NV, I didn’t heed my own recommendations. I thought that the deep golden color meant the wine was older and perhaps past its prime. I made assumptions about the choice of NV instead of a vintage designate. I really made too many judgements and was quickly reminded of my own advice – “don’t be too quick to judge” and “keep an open mind”.

Dubost Winery is located in the heart of the Adelaida District, in the far northwest of Paso Robles on the way to Justin and Lake Nacimiento. The Dubost Ranch has been owned by the Dubost family for nearly 150 years. They produce some of the deepest, richest, and most powerful wines in all of Paso Robles, and their use of unique winemaking techniques and heirloom varieties is unprecedented in the area. Dubost wine is made by the mother-son winemaking team Kate Dubost and Zach Raines.

As an ode to the winery, Dubost produces two non-vintage blends, one white and one red. While NV seems like it might be lesser quality, in fact it enables the Dubost’s to make a distinct wine. Kate and Zach like wines with a little age on them and with the NV wines, they can blend a fresher younger wine with an aged wine to make a more complete wine.

The Dubost Homestead NV White is a blend of 40% Viognier, 30% Chardonnay, 20% Roussanne, and 10% Grenache Blanc. While Dubost Winery is based in Paso Robles, the Dubost Homestead White is sourced from their estate property in the Adelaida district, as well as San Benito County. The Rhone grapes come form their vineyard which has thick calcareous and limestone soils, as well as clay at the bottom of the slope, where the Viognier is planted. The Chardonnay in the blend is sourced from the 30+ year old Wheeler Vineyard in San Benito County.

The grapes for the Dubost Homestead NV White are fermented with native yeasts. The wine undergoes 100% malolactic fermentation, sur lees and is aged in new oak for three years, which intensifies the color of the wine. The wine is unfined and unfiltered.

The Dubost Homestead NV White that I enjoyed was bottled in April 2019 and is a blend of mostly 2016 and 2017 with a touch of 2018. It is rich and round with notes of golden apple, lemon, apricot, white flowers, honey, and macadamia nuts. On the palate the wine is rich and round with electric acidity. This wine comes in at a surprising 15.9% alcohol but it is very balanced.

This is a wine to enjoy with a triple cream cheese or with chicken and polenta. The wine typically retails for $20 but is currently available on the Dubost Winery website for $14! That is really great deal and you will not be disappointed!