Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre
Les Vignerons du Castelas has a history stretching back to 1952 when the cooperative was founded in France's Rhône Valley. At the time, the Côtes du Rhône appellation was relatively young, having just been officially recognized in 1937. Baron Le Roy, the founding father of France's AOC system, was the budding appellation's leading proponent, and he was also present to celebrate the founding of Les Vignerons de Castelas. Today, the cooperative has 42 growers in the region, who focus mainly on Grenache, which makes up about half of their total production. Liscardinal is a classic Côtes du Rhône blend of Syrah and Grenache with a small amount of Mourvèdre, sourced from 30-year-old vines. After a slow, cool fermentation, the wine is transferred to concrete tanks to age before bottling. The wine is juicy and fruit forward with no oak influence, perfect for enjoying over the next 5 years at about 18 C.
Fresh black cherry, plum, and raspberry (Grenache's contribution) combine with Syrah's signature white pepper notes in a harmonious, fresh nose - this smells delicious! There's an undercurrent of dry earth and brambles typical of the Rhône Valley that adds depth and complexity.
Crunchy red fruit (think cherry, barely-ripe raspberry, and red currant) dominates the palate of this dry, medium-bodied red, and it's supported by firm tannins and bright, zesty acidity. The long finish has plenty of spice and earthy notes to add complexity.
This is a great year-round BBQ wine, but try pairing with a herb-crusted pork loin, grilled over charcoal and served with roasted new potatoes.