From: Vaison La Romaine, Rhone Valley, France
Blend: 50% Grenache, 45% Syrah, 5% Carignan
Taste: In the glass, vivid aromas of wild red and black fruits complemented by baking spices lead, with mentholated and resinous notes that lend freshness to the otherwise warm wine. The palate is powerful, and decanting is recommended to fully appreciate the complex flavors of juniper berries, Greek-style olives, laurel, and wild black fruits. Serving the wine at around 16°C will enhance your enjoyment.
Pairing: This charming village Côtes du Rhône pairs wonderfully with veal paupiettes with mushrooms in a Madeira or Port sauce, cream, and olives (we’ve included a recipe inspired by this note below). A matured meat, such as aged beef, would also complement the wine's depth and aromatic width. For a vegan option, consider seitan ribs accompanied by fried cauliflower wings—a delectable and original pairing.
Pork Tenderloin With Shallots and Prunes
By David Tanis
About. The Rhone Valley in France is renowned for its rich history and exquisite wines, and the 2020 Rhonéa "Les Contreforts" Côtes du Rhône Villages Vaison La Romaine is no exception. Nestled amidst ancient Roman ruins and breathtaking landscapes, this exceptional wine from the Rhonéa signature range offers a unique blend of Carignan, Grenache Noir, and Syrah that promises to captivate the senses and provide a truly memorable experience.
Vaison-la-Romaine, a subregional title under the Côtes du Rhône Villages appellation, boasts a wine history that likely dates back to Roman times. The town itself is famous for its well-preserved Roman ruins, a major tourist attraction that adds to the area's charm. The Vaison-la-Romaine subregion encompasses the communes of Buisson, Saint-Marcelin-lès-Vaison, Saint-Roman-de-Malegarde, Villedieu, and the town of Vaison-la-Romaine, and shares borders with several other notable wine-producing areas.
The vineyards in the Vaison-la-Romaine subregion cover over 170 hectares (430 acres) of predominantly pebbly soil with a clay-limestone subsoil. Lying between 160 and 380 meters above sea level, the area benefits from the drying, ripening, and anti-disease effects of the Mistral wind. The average age of the vines is 42 years, and the harvests are primarily manual, with an average yield of 38 hl/ha.
The terroir of the 2020 RhoneA "Les Contreforts" Côtes du Rhône Villages Vaison La Romaine plays a significant role in shaping the taste and flavors of the wine. The clay-limestone hillsides and sandy-clay soils, exposed south-southwest, provide a unique environment for the vines to grow.
Clay-limestone soils are known for their excellent water retention properties, as well as their ability to regulate the vine's access to moisture, providing a balanced environment for the vines. This balance allows the vines to develop deep root systems, ensuring they receive the right amount of nutrients and minerals necessary for optimal growth.
The south-southwest exposure of the vineyards ensures ample sunlight throughout the day, which contributes to the even ripening of the grapes. The sunlight also aids in the development of complex flavors and aromas, as well as the concentration of sugars in the grapes.
The resulting wine from this unique terroir exhibits rich, intense flavors and a well-rounded mouthfeel. The clay-limestone soils contribute to the wine's structure and depth, while the sandy-clay component provides a silky texture and elegant tannins. The south-southwest exposure allows the grapes to develop an impressive array of aromas, such as wild fruits, juniper berries, and Greek-style olives, which are evident in the final wine.
In summary, the terroir of the 2020 RhoneA "Les Contreforts" Côtes du Rhône Villages Vaison La Romaine directly influences the taste and flavors of the wine, showcasing the unique characteristics of the region. The combination of clay-limestone hillsides, sandy-clay soils, and south-southwest exposure creates a wine with depth, complexity, and a true sense of place.
Vinification and Production: The 2020 Rhonéa "Les Contreforts" Côtes du Rhône Villages Vaison La Romaine is vinified traditionally in concrete and stainless steel vats, with temperature control and a long fermentation period of around 20 days. The region is home to six cooperative wineries and around a dozen private winemaking operations, with the first cooperative established in 1924.
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