Jean-Louis "Grande Réserve" Côtes du Rhône ($13.99)
Southern Rhône Valley, France
From the distributor:
"This wine is the creation of Jean Louis Canto, owner of the great Châteauneuf-du-Pape estate Domaine de la Roncière. Jean-Louis produces this “Grande Réserve” from Plan-de-Dieu, a region which now covers an area of 1,500 hectares at an altitude of 100 meters. The vines grow on a bed of red clay packed to a depth of 10 metres with a mass of smooth-rolled pebbles. Given this stony foundation, the skimpy soils yield little: some barely have enough grapes to produce one bottle of wine per vinestock. The wines are all reds, made from three of the Côtes du Rhône’s leading grape varieties: Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. From this soil, they produce wines that are high in color, dense and concentrated. The nose is reminiscent of the surrounding garrigue, with scents of thyme and bay laurel.
Juicy yet structured Côtes du Rhône displaying aromas of red berries and black fruit, hints of earthy undertones and fine tannins. This wine will seduce your senses and bring a touch of elegance to hors d’œuvres, pork and roasted meats.
Grapes: 85% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre
Soil: Sand and clay
Age of Vines: 30 Years Old
Fermentation: 60% whole cluster, 40% destemmed in concrete for 18 days
Aging: 12 months in concrete vats
Production: 144,000 bottles per year"
I have been planning to introduce a mid-level Côtes du Rhône, and this one found me at just the right time. It is an incredible value for money, an excellent example of a more robust style from the region, and very well-balanced. Fermentation and aging take place in concrete, which allows for flavor development without taking on characteristics of a barrel. I am very pleased to offer this wine.