Nov. 10, 2017

Rhone Valley Ravishments!!

As it always seems to be around this time of year when the rain and cold comes, my thoughts turn to my Le Creuset braising pot that sits on the top shelf, it’s soul warming siren song calling out, letting me know that all will be warm and cozy given a few hours of attention. Along with that comes the wine, of course, and again more often than not the things that seem to work best with the richly robust meats that are slowly bubbling away in the oven are the very wines we’ll be pouring tomorrow. Red wine from the Rhone Valley, where the grenache and syrah grapes (along with their blending companions) reach their varietal apex, always seem to be the perfect pairing for slow cooked lamb, beef, and various vegetables that might soon be filling a steaming bowl on my dinner table. Is it any wonder that these are some of my very favorite liquid indulgences in this great world of wine I find myself gratefully immersed in? Ironically reminding me of warm, sunny Provençal afternoons while simultaneously warming cold autumn evenings, these are wines to savor over the next few months, and honestly there isn’t one of them that wouldn’t benefit from a year or more in your basements. These are wines that speak so clearly to me whenever I have them, and hopefully you’ll be by this Friday to get in on the conversation…

n/v ERIC JAMET “Le Sang du Peuple” $11.95…”The Blood of the People” indeed! This is a wonderful organic/biodynamic grenache and syrah blend that until about 2 months ago yopu would have had to go to the sout of France to find. Fortuntely our friends at Petit Monde have started importing this so we can find out what the French have been keeping for themselves!
2013 MOURGUES DU GRES Costieres de Nimes “Les Galets” $13.95
2015 DOMAINE BRESSY-MASSON Rasteau $17.95
2014 DOMAINE LA ROUBINE Sablet $18.95
2012 CHATEAU MONTFAUCON Lirac “Baron Louis” $23.95…90 pts-Wine Spectator; 90 pts-Wine Advocate
And then the warmth spreads exponentially in the Land of Bonus…
Bonus #1-2015 LIONEL FAURY Saint Joseph $34.95…this is stunning northern Rhone Syrah. An absolute knockout bottle that you need to try! 93 pts-Wine Spectator; 92 pts-Vinous
Bonus #2-2015 DOMAINE GIRAUD Chateauneuf du Pape “Premices” $41.95….92 pts-Vinous; 92 pts-Wine Advocate; 92 pts-Wine Spectator: “A pure, elegant style, with an alluring raspberry puree note leading the way, while light blood orange, red currant and plum fruit flavors follow close behind. Nuances of incense, mulling spices and rooibos tea flitter throughout. The finish is silky and persistent. Best from 2018 through 2030.”
Bonus #3-2010 GUIGAL Chateauneuf du Pape $52.95…just now coming into its drinking window. Classic! 92 pts-Wine Spectator; 93 pts-Vinous; 93 pts-Wine Advocate: “A stunning effort and showing the class of the vintage. Comprised of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre. Rich, textured and medium to full-bodied, with ample black cherry, olive tapenade and subtle meatiness, this traditional effort stays pure and lively, with fine tannin emerging on the finish. It can be consumed now or cellared for over a decade. “

The world feels better already, doesn’t it? For all the Provençal pleasure you can handle, stop by VINO tomorrow anytime between 4:30-8:00. The first five are just ten dollars with a nominal bit more for the bonus pours. Your friends, snacks, and open minds are welcome as well. See you tomorrow!

~ ~ ~ UPCOMING TASTINGS ~ ~ ~

Nov. 10: France’s Incredible Rhone Valley- liquid pleasures from a place I could happily live my life!

Nov. 17: Thanksgiving Wine- the Day is coming and you’d best be ready!!

Nov. 24: No Tasting Tonight- time with family comes first on this blessed holiday. besides, don’t you have leftovers to eat, too?

Dec. 1: VINO’s Holiday Fizz Fest- the day is finally here for our bubbly bash!!

Dec. 8: VINO’s Bordeaux Bash: a few classics for the upcoming holiday that you’ll want on your dinner tables!

Dec. 15: Big California Zinfandels- I for one can’t wait to let these jam packed gems bring their All American pleasure to the VINO table!

Dec. 22: Italy’s Piedmont Greats- Our last flight of the year and I’m diving back into what just might be my favorite drinking destination!!

Dec. 29: on holiday, no tasting tonight!

Jan 5: The Best of 2017- we take a look back at our favorite wines of the year gone by. One of my favorite tastings of the year!!

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