Petit Salé from Chateau Roquefort is the best white wine from southern France that you're likely to skip. That's right. If you're reading this offer it's because you're probably here for the Burgundy and Riesling, and not for the Clairette/Vermentino blend.

But, at $23 per bottle I highly recommend you play this cool and less pretentiously than I did when I was first told what was being poured into my glass. I don't really drink southern French whites. I'm guilty of being a snob, of believing that no matter how many "mineral-driven" and "fresh" descriptors are thrown my way I'm simply not going to be inclined to want to finish an entire bottle of any of it, and that's simply my golden rule on buying. That changed big time with Raimond de Villeneuve's Chateau Roquefort and its Petit Salé.

Translating to "Little salty", Petit Salé broke my prejudice in one sip. "I'd finish THAT!", I exclaimed. OK, so it's only 11% alcohol, but still. All the more reason to applaud this delightful feat being pulled off.

This blend of Clairette and Vermentino is built around ripe, unctuous white peach and briny citrus flavors finishing, as one might surmise, with a super persistent salty inflection. There's some skin maceration here that brings a texture juxtaposed nicely to this brisk, high altitude setting that, unlike neighboring Bandol cannot properly ripen Mourvèdre.

Here, it's the secret microclimate set on limestone and clay soils that proved to me a southern French white can deliver all of the mouth-watering salinity as Chablis and Riesling while still capturing the truth of its more orchard fruit-leaning varieties.

Villeneuve returned home in 1995 after spending time producing Burgundy's Grand Cru Clos de Tart for Mommessin. He farms in both organics and biodynamics. The same distributor here behind some small vignerons you may have heard of like Jerome Prevost, Cedric Bouchard, and Soldera. For $23/bottle Petit Salé is a wine I highly recommend you consider, as its deliciousness punches well above its weight class.