From a winery that specializes in very fancy wines from places like Cote Rotie in the Northern Rhone and Chateauneuf du Pape in the south, this shows the same class and style as more expensive wines at a really exciting value price. The vines grow in Costieres de Nimes, a region on the border of the Rhone Valley and Languedoc first planted to vine by Greek colonists before the rise of Rome. The winery began in 1904 as a negotiant but began bottling their best wines under their own label only in 1998. Here they are working with the classic south of France “GSM” blend – Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.
As you’d expect for a region on the border of the Rhone and Languedoc (it was officially part of the Languedoc region until transferred to the Rhone in 1994), this shows touch of both ripe Rhone fruit and spicy, smoky, Languedoc savory character. Big scents of dark black and red berries show accents of sappy herb, black olive, sweet spice and cracked black pepper. The mouthfeel is weighty and substantial and the flavors a delightful marriage of Grenache’s raspberry/cherry and Syrah’s blue/black fruit plus very Rhonish olive, herb, and pepper. The Mourvedre gives the wine an extra layer of earthy substance and a touch of grip, although the finish is supple enough to invite solo sipping while the grill is getting ready. In short, it’s exactly the kind of robust red you want to have on hand as a “House Wine” to sip on mid-week and match up with savory, rich, wintery stews, sophisticated roasts, and the occasional delivery pizza.
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