OUR FAVORITE APPELLATION
Cotes du Rhone, our favorite appellation.
2016 JEAN-LUC COLOMBO “Les Abilles” $15
Facing west What happens when you combine a creative, adventurous spirit with an unbridled passion for wines of quality and character? For lovers of fine wines from France’s Rhône Valley, the answer is simple: Jean-Luc Colombo.
2017 LES GARRIGUES $12
Named after the beautifully aromatic underbrush and scrub found all over Provence, Les Garrigues is an easygoing yet surprisingly full-blooded Cotes-du-Rhone. It is produced by a single, small domaine in the Cotes-du-Rhone appellation, A blend of predominantly Grenache, with a balance of Syrah, Les Garrigues is always balanced, delicious, and correct—never over-ripe, over-done, or overly alcoholic (a trait that sometimes mars wines of this scorching-hot southern climate)… We like to think of it as the perfect all-purpose value Rhone red, and its success over the years seems to confirm our opinion.
2017 KERMIT LYNCH $15 (organic)
Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, and Mourvèdre.
2017 DOMAINE LA MANARINE $15
The standard bearer of the domaine is the Côtes du Rhône Rouge produced from the younger (but not young) vines (average 35 years old) of the estate. This wine is 100% Grenache and produces a classically spicy, full-bodied wine that speaks clearly of the “garrigue” of the region. The grapes are destemmed before the fermentation and the cuvaison is on the order of three weeks duration. The wine is bottled without filtration after twenty to twenty-four months of “elevage”.
2018 DOMAINE LA MANARINE ROSE $15
2018 DOMAINE LES APHILLANTES ROSE $15
2017 DOMAINE GRAMEON “l’elementaire” $30
The gem of Kermit Lynch’s Cotes du Rhone lineup-extraordinary. The domaine bottles an AOC Vinsobres and a myriad of parcels of Côtes-du-Rhône located around the domaine. Though Michèle and Maxime continue to test the confines of the appellation, the cellars are unsurprisingly old-fashioned. The Laurents use gravity-fed cuves and age their wines in oak demi-muids and foudres. That they take such gutsy risks as bottling old-vine fruit with so little sulfur, without fining or filtration, only demonstrates the lengths they will go to in order to highlight the freshness, purity, and intoxicating aromas of their small, rare production.
2017 DOMAINE DU JAS (orgamic practicing biodynamic) $14
Located in the southern part of the Rhone Valley, the town of Suze la Rousse is known for its medieval castle, its wines, and its university of wine. Winemaker Hubert Pradelle comes from a long line of winemakers, and he currently owns 25 ha vineyards. In 2000, Hubert's son, Pierre, started working with him and convinced his father to begin making organic wine. The following year, they converted the vineyards to organics, and began to incorporate some biodynamic methods as well. While sulphur is used periodically, each wine is made with the least intervention possible, using only wild yeasts, and natural fining techniques. Their soil is predominently argillaceous soils and they grow Grenache, Cinsault, and Mourvedre as well as 8ha of Grenache Blanc, all averaging 35 years of age.
2016 DOMAINE LA TERRE LUNE $12
Dark Purple color. Medium Intensity, developing, black fruits, red fruits, spicy. Medium Bodied, dry, medium-high acidity, light tannin, moderate intensity, medium finish, raspberry, black pepper, mineral. Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault