Monday, July 18, 2011

On The Rhône Again

When people talk about fine wine, they often mention fine French wine.  At least, that’s the way I remember it being when I was a kid.  I think for a long time, I thought wine only came from France.  Obviously, as I grew older, I learned that wasn’t the case.  Even so, I think it was a good long time before I actually tried a true French wine.  It just wasn’t really on my radar and I assumed they were all expensive.  But since trying it for the first time, that has definitely changed and I have found quite a few that are very good and very budget friendly. I have found myself partial to Rhône wines though I plan to expand into other French wines in the near future.

Chateau De Nages has become one of my favorite producers of Rhône wines.  They are organic and practice sustainable farming which really appeals to me. I have previously written about their Reserve Red Rhône blend and their Reserve Rosé, both of which I enjoyed.  Since I enjoyed those, I decided to give their Reserve 2008 White Blend a try.  I picked it up at Total Wine for $9.99.  This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache Blanc and 40% Roussanne. The nose was delightful…floral and citrusy.  The taste was light and fresh with a crisp finish.  At first I drank it alone but later I paired with simple grilled chicken and a barley risotto.  It paired very well.  The label also recommended pairing it with grilled fish and seafood which is what I will do the next time I buy it.  As usual, Chateau De Nages did not disappoint.

My other favorite Rhône wine is also probably the most well known variety…Cotes du Rhône.  I have tried several in the past but never wrote them down so I have no idea what they were.  The one I tried for this article by Domaine Guy Mousset.  It was a 2009 vintage that cost $11.99 at Total Wine.  It was a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah.  It had a dark berry nose and that also carried over to the flavor though I also detected a hint of strawberry.  It had a nice, smooth finish.  It went very well with grilled flank steak and I assume it would go well with other grilled red meats as well.

The third wine was simply labeled as a Red Rhône Wine by Domaine de Clairfont.  This was also a 2009 vintage and cost $9.99.  When I looked closer at the label, I realized it also said Guy Mousset on the label but I couldn’t find much information on it.  This bottle did not indicate what wines it was a blend of which was a bit disappointing.  It had a nose of red fruit…maybe a bit of plum.  The taste was light bodied for a red.  It was acidic with a medium finish.  Both Hubby and I thought it was very good both alone and with a nice steak so it will likely go in our wine rack again.

Now that I’ve dipped my toe a bit more into the pool of French wines, I can’t wait to expand my horizons and try more.  I’m sure you’ll see them here.