What grabbed me was this white wine's luxuriant richness, reminiscent of an Hermitage Blanc, yet still fresh, and totally unoaked. I thought I needed a Chardonnay to make my 12 bottle case, but with this wine, I can get the best of a northern Rhône style, and the voluptuousness of a California Chardonnay, in one neat package.
This intense, full-bodied red is made by the brilliant Châteauneuf du Pape producer Andre Brunel, from family owned vineyards in the village of Tavaillan. The 2011 Côtes du Rhône Villages Cuvée Sabrine, which is made from 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvedre, has just what it takes to stand up to the rigors of summer BBQ fare. It is loaded with meaty notes of blueberry, blackberry and smoke/tobacco leaf, interlaced with hints of cherry confit, a telltale component of ripe Grenache. With so much forward fruit, it can also be enjoyed lightly chilled on the deck or patio.
Made from 100% certified organic grapes, predominantly Grenache with a little Syrah, the 2009 La Grand Ribe Cotes du Rhone Villages Centenaire comes from a conscientiously tended small estate in the southern Rhône village of Sainte-Cecile des Vignes. Led by prominent organic (and biodynamic) growers such as Château de Beaucastel and Chapoutier, the Rhône has been in the forefront of the organic movement, not simply for health and environmental reasons, but because these methods produced better-tasting wines. Centenaire, La Grand Ribe’s premium tier Cotes du Rhone Villages, has received a rave 91-93 point review from Robert Parker.
Eye: Deep and dark red. Shiny. Nose: Fresh fruits with red berries and spices. Palate: Full, round and racy. Rounded and smooth tannins. A full-bodied, rich and intensly aromatic wine. Overall: Full with a long finish and plenty of elegance and finesse due to the well balanced tannins and fruit.
Color: Deep color with an attractive brilliance. Bouquet: Elegant and aromatic, with red fruits blended with spices. Palate: Well-structured on rounded tannins, with a final spicy note. Matching Food and Wine: Grilled/roasted meats, Port au feu, Cheese, Perfect throughout the meal.