While everyone is aware of French wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy, it is time to branch out and explore wines from other wine growing areas of France. This month we explore a French wine from the Rhone area.
The entire Rhone Valley is frequently referred to as the Cotes du Rhone, but this is also the name of more than 100 communes in the region north of Avignon. The primary grape varieties cultivated here are Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Carignan. Wines labeled Cotes du Rhone are enjoyable and satisfying with lush flavors of black pepper, roasted herbs, cherry, cassis, and raspberry.
Domaine de Janasse is well-known for making exemplary wines. Aime Sabon took over his father’s and father-in-law’s vineyards in 1967. Aime built wine storage in caves in 1973 and thus created the Domaine of La Janasse. Over time he enlarged the domaine by acquiring new vineyards of different varieties, going from 15 ha to 55 hectares.
The quality of the 2009 vintage reflects a perfectly balanced growing season: firstly a wet spring, then a hot summer which promoted the production of grapes to a fully ripe state, very colorful and flavorful and with firm tannin structure. The 2009 vintage is one of the earliest of this early 21st century. In the vineyard, during the harvest Aime had the freedom to organize his harvest sites according to their different maturities of the various grapes varieties and plots.
The Domaine de Janasse 2009 is a classic blend of 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, 15% Carignan and 5% Cinsault. The wine is bright purple with an assertively perfumed bouquet evoking dark berry preserves, cherry compote and white pepper, plus a subtle touch of smokiness. Juicy and smooth in texture, offering good depth to its bitter cherry and cassis flavors and a very long finish this wonderful Cote du Rhone is an excellent compliment to roast duck or duck confit, beef bourguignon and grilled pork chops. Until next time, more wine please.