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.