The Côtes du Rhône appellation in the southern Rhône Valley produces some of the best-loved 'everyday drinking' reds from France. While their reputation is humble and rustic wines have some merit, there are also much more complex, terroir-specific examples. A step above the general Côtes du Rhône designation, Villages-level wines must come from one of the 95 authorized communes in the region. Of these, a small group of 18 specific villages are allowed to append their own name to Côtes du Rhône-Villages - these wines are the top examples of the style, and have distinctive characteristics.
Sablet is one of these 18 villages, and the name (sable = sand), refers to the predominantly sandy soil beneath the fortified medieval town. Terroir Daronton produces wines throughout the Rhône valley, seeking to capture the regional variation through the lens of the Rhône's three most famous grapes: Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Syrah. Their Côtes du Rhône-Villages Sablet is a great example of the style, and can be enjoyed now or over the next 3 years at about 18 C.
Red fruit and spice are the hallmark of this wine, with loads of wild strawberry, cherry, raspberry, and cranberry, followed by sweet spice notes of clove and cinnamon. Hints of floral lavender and wild herbs, so typical of wines from the Rhône, linger invitingly in the background.
Ripe, plush, and smooth on the palate, with a medium body and fine, grippy tannins. At this stage of its evolution, this wine is showcasing all the appealing red-fruit flavours we found on the nose, with plenty of strawberry and cherry. The finish is structured and fresh, with enough acidity to carry the fruit. A great upgrade to your everyday Côtes du Rhône!
Pub-food ready, perfect with classics like a juicy burger or beef dip sandwich. For something a bit fancier, try with grilled lamb chops sprinkled with herbes de Provence.