Mourvedre, Syrah, Grenache
Côtes-du-Rhône Villages, France
Alc. 14.5 %
We continue to be impressed with the sheer amount of fantastic wines coming out of Southern France these days, and no region exemplifies this better than the Rhône valley. The vast majority of wines from the Southern Rhône bear the name Côtes du Rhône AOC, and can vary widely in production volume and quality. A step up in quality, wines labelled Côtes du Rhône-Village must come from one of 95 authorized communes in the region. Finally, of those 95 communes, only 18 villages may bear their names on the label and these wines represent the very best of the Côtes du Rhône.
Romaine Duvernay's Cotes-du-Rhone Village Plan de Dieu comes from a village of the same name just west of Gigondas. The region was only elevated to "named village" status in 2005, but has been home to grape vines since pre-Roman times. Only red wines are permitted to have the Plan de Dieu name, and Romain Duvernay's is a blend of 75% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 5% Mourvèdre. The grapes are harvested by hand, and fermentation takes place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks to preserved freshness.
Drink this complex, expressive red over the next 5-7 years at a cool 18 C.
Medium cherry red with an opaque core.
The nose is classic Côtes du Rhône, with plenty of cherry, raspberry, blueberry compote, and red licorice, followed by a dusty, earthy note, and a hint of leather and spice.
Medium-bodied and well structured on the palate, with fine, drying tannin supporting a core of ripe dark berries and warm baking spice. There's a lot going on beyond the bright and welcoming fruit, suggesting this wine will age well and will shine with food. If you're expecting a simple and uncomplicated Côtes du Rhône, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the depth and complexity of this wine!
Pair with rustic favourites like white bean cassoulet, or draw out the savoury notes in the wine by pairing with lamb chops grilled over charcoal with garlic and rosemary.
Columbia Valley, Washington
Retail: $64.99 Club: $49.49