From: Southern Rhone, France
Blend: Grenache and Syrah
Taste: The fruit is deep and concentrated but still balanced, with flavors of black plum, cherry, and boysenberry. There are also subtle notes of strawberry, spice, and roses. The wine has a mineral backbone, and fresh acidity keeps it from being one-dimensional.
Pairing: This wine will beautifully pair with everything from humble burgers (veggie, beyond, and meats all welcome) to elevated duck breast with sauce chasseur (sometimes called "hunter's sauce,” it’s a simple or compound brown sauce used in French cuisine typically made using demi-glace or an Espagnole sauce [which is one of the five mother sauces] as a base, and often includes mushrooms and shallots). For today’s pairing recommendation, we’re sharing a comfort-inspired pasta recipe that includes sausage, browned sage butter, and butternut squash— yum. (Ali Slagle includes a note to make this vegetarian too!)
Pasta With Sausage, Squash and Sage Brown Butter
By Ali Slagle
About. Domaine les Grands Bois is an independent winegrower located in Sainte Cécile les Vignes in the southern Rhone. The estate was founded in 1920 by Albert Farjon, an agricultural worker who was passionate about vines and wines. In 1935, he registered the brand, Les Grands Bois. His two sons, André and Robert, continued family tradition and ensured the longevity of the estate. In 1994, daughter and niece of winegrowers, Mireille Besnardeau, along with her husband Marc, took over the Les Grands Bois estate.
In 1997, under the guidance of Mireille and Marc, the estate developed its bottling for export sales. They restructured the vineyards in 1998, bought land in Cairanne and Rasteau, and created a new cellar. Starting with the 2011 vintage their wines are certified organic. And, in 2015, their daughter Philippine joined the family business.
Their 46 hectares of vineyards extend from Sainte-Cécile-les-Vignes, Lagarde-Paréol, Suze la Rousse, Tulette, Cairanne, Rasteau, and Travaillan. The vines are generally planted 130 metres above sea level. The vineyards are made up of a mosaic of plots and terroirs. The soils are predominantly red clay composed of large pebbles rolled by the sea, which store heat during the day to restore it at night. The climate has Mediterranean influences with little rainfall, the Mistral winds, and an abundance of sunshine.
If the grape varietal gives the wine’s general characteristics, the terroir gives it its typicity. The estate focuses on Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre. Grenache for its generosity, the fragrant structure of Mourvedre, and the coloring intensity of Syrah, all of which result in high quality red wines.
This wine in particular, is named after Marc and Mireille's eldest daughter, Philippine. Produced from Sainte Cécile les Vignes, this Côtes du Rhône Villages represents 16 hectares of the domaine. 15 days of fermentation at 18-20°C, punching and rack and return. This Côtes du Rhône Villages has its roots in the scrubland. Grenache and Syrah bloom under the Provencal sun and the beautiful Mistral winds, to result in an aromatic and ample wine.
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