Nuragus di Cagliari), Australia and South Africa with a few hundred acres under vine in each of those countries..
The reason for Clairette's recent decline can mostly be chalked up to changing fashions. Clairette is a very low-acid grape that has a tendency to oxidize very easily. There was a time when white wines were expected to be a little (or a lot) oxidized, and when those characteristics were prized by consumers and connoisseurs, Clairette was a much more popular grape. Furthermore, these characteristics also made Clairette popular for the production of Vermouth, but as the popularity of that particular drink has declined, so has the popularity of Clairette. In today's world, Clairette is typically used as a blending grape and it is often paired with higher acid grapes like Picpoul de Pinet or with Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and/or Marsanne. Clairette usually contributes aromatic elements and softness to the final blend when it is used. There are a handful of appellations where Clairette is required to be the dominant or the sole grape in the blend and nearly all of them have the word "Clairette" right in them for convenience. Clairette de Die, Clairette de Bellegarde and Clairette de Languedoc are probably the most common, but there's also Coteaux de Die and, somewhat surprisingly, Crémant de Die, which is a sparkling wine made predominantly from Clairette grapes.
References to a grape called Clairette can be traced back to the 16th Century, but it isn't clear whether this is the same grape that we know as Clairette today. Clairette means something like "light white," and could conceivably have referred to many different grape varies through the years. There's a bit of confusion even today, as Ugni Blanc is sometimes known as Clairette Ronde in some parts of the Languedoc (though the two grapes are not related to one another). The Erbaluce grape in Italy has a similar etymology, and this study done in 2001 found that the two grapes shared 50% of their alleles at the microsatellite loci investigated, but further testing has not been done to see whether the two grapes are really related to one another genetically or merely linguistically. There is also some evidence that suggests that Clairette may be related to Airén and/or Roditis, but further study needs to be done to determine just what the relationship might be.
Brookline Liquor Mart for around $14. In the glass the wine was a pale silvery lemon color. The nose was intense with aromas of peach, grapefruit, melon, white flowers and lime. On the palate the wine was medium bodied with fairly low acidity. There were flavors of grapefruit and pear along with a touch of grassy herbaceousness and a stony mineral finish. The flavor profile was broad and fat with a little bit of bitter citrus pith on the finish as well. The nose was really lovely, but the lack of acid kind of sunk this for me. The grassy flavor reminded me of Sauvignon Blanc, but it lacked the energy and vitality that really nice Sauvignon Blanc based wines have. If you're not really into high-acid white wines, then this is probably right up your alley, but if you're an acid freak like me, then you won't find very much to like here.