This Saturday we are featuring wines from Roussillon and the Rhône Where Grenache and Syrah reign supported by an interesting court of Mourvèdre, Carignan and Cinsault. It’s a royal combination. Come tour the Villages.
2012 Chapoutier, Bila Haut, Côtes de Roussillon Blanc $15
Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Macabeu.
Michael Chapoutier is best known for his Rhône wine, but his second estate in Roussillon makes some distinct, well-crafted wine. And of course if you know Braille you can read the label by touch. The Blanc has aromas of lemon and grapefruit with smoky notes. The palate is round, with good acidity and a fresh finish mixed with salty notes, which express the minerality of the wine.
2008 Château de Jau, Côtes de Roussillon Villages$12
52% Syrah, 30% Mourvèdre, 10% Carignan, 8% Grenache
The Dauré family has been making wine in Roussillonsince 1792. Château de Jau is located in the southernmost foothills of the Roussillon slopes of the Corbières Mountains in French Catalonia. The Côtes du Roussillon Villages Rouge has “arômes de garrigue, d’épicesorientales et de fruits rouges bienmûrs.” It’s a full and supple Syrah dominate blend.
2011 Domaine des Escaravailles, Les Sablieres Côtes du Rhône $15
70% Greanche, 20% Syrah, 10% Carignan
In 1953, Jean-Louis Ferran purchased several well-situated hillside parcels above the southern Rhône villages of Rasteau, Roaix and Cairanne. He dubbed his new domaine “Escaravailles,” the Occitan word for beetles (scarabs). This was a nickname for the black-robed monks of the area’s hill-perched Catholic monasteries in centuries past. The monks knew what they were doing and so does Jean-Louis’ grandson who now runs the winery. The Les Sablieres is a smooth and silky Rhône red. Full bodied and rounded out.
2009 Château Val-joanis Syrah Tradition. $13
90% Syrah, 10% Grenache
Châteaux Val-joanis is located in Luberon in the shouthern Rhone. They turn the balance of Syrah and Grenache upside down with their Syrah heavy Tradition. It is well structured and balanced with spice notes and supple black and red berry fruit.
2011 Domaine des Escaravailles, Les Côteaux Rasteau $20
80% Grenache, 20% Syrah
Rasteau was elevated from Village to Cru status in 2010. The grapes that used to go into Escaravailles CDR Villages now are bottles as Cru Rasteau. These are 50 to 60 year old vines on hillside slopes, all vinified in cement tanks. The wine is full, rich and powerful.