What can we say, we love Rhône wines. The artful blending of Grenache and Syrah with the other local varietals yield endless variations of complexity and spice that match a wide range of foods. They are also great values. This weekend we are tasting Five wines from the Rhône. All are organic, bio-dynamic, or sustainably farmed. They are also delicious.
2015 Ferraton Père et Fils, Côtes du Rhône Blanc Samorens $14
60% Grenache Blanc, 40% Clairette
Ferraton started after the war in 1946 and started collecting vineyards in the north & southern Rhône valley. In 1998, the vineyards were converted to organic viticulture, then certified, before embracing the culture of bio-dynamics. This Blanc has aromas of white flowers and white fruit. The palate is nicely balanced. Clairette brings the freshness and white Grenache body and softness.
2014 Domaine de Couron, Marsellan $10
This family-run estate lies in the tiny hamlet of Saint Marcel d’Ardeche where they tend their vineyards using sustainable farming techniques. Marsellan is the result of a hybrid between Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache. It has aromas of black currants, wild herbs, loamy earth, tobacco leaf and background meatiness to go with a medium-bodied, nicely balanced profile on the palate.
2014 Ferraton Père et Fils, Côtes du Rhône Rouge Samorens $14
80% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 5% Cinsault
The Samorens Rouge comes from vineyards situated on the left bank of the Rhône with alluvial and gravelly soil. It has aromas of ripe red fruit, spice notes and a nicely structured palate with firm and meaty tannins.
2013 La Cassagnes de la Nerthe, Côtes du Rhône Villages $22
60% Grenache Noir, 20% Syrah, 10% Cinsault, 5% Mourvèdre, 5% Carignan
Located in Serignan-du-Comtat, which is between Orange and Avignon, this 40+ year old vineyard combines all traditional grape varietals for the Southern Rhône Valley: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvédre, Carignan, and Cinsault. The vines are planted in soils deep in calcareous sandstones well sited on gently undulating slopes. The vineyards are certified “organically grown”. On the nose the wine has intense red fruits with some black cherry notes. The finish is long with notes of candied red fruit highlighted by sweet spices with a fresh, silky texture.
2014 Ferraton Père et Fils, Crozes Hermitage La Matiniere $23
The Ferraton vineyards in the districts of Mercurol and Beaumont-Monteux in Crozes Hermitage have terraces of glacial alluvial deposits with a lot of round pebbles, stones and gravel. The wine has a very aromatic attack with aromas of cherries, raspberries, blackcurrants. The palate is round and smooth with long lingering tannins.
Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5.