From: Beaumes-de-Venise, Rhône Valley, France
Blend: 70% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre
Taste: The 2021 Domaine de Durban Beaumes-de-Venise Rouge presents a deep ruby hue with a bright, shimmering rim. The nose is expressive and captivating, exuding ripe black fruits such as blackberries, black cherries, and blackcurrants, beautifully interwoven with nuances of dried herbs, wild thyme, and rosemary. The terroir's influence is evident in the hints of warm earth and crushed rocks. On the palate, this medium-to-full-bodied wine showcases a harmonious balance between power and elegance. The velvety texture delivers layers of succulent fruit flavors, complemented by notes of sweet spice, licorice, and a touch of dark chocolate. The wine's well-integrated tannins lend structure and support, while the refreshing acidity lifts the flavors and ensures a long, satisfying finish. The overall impression is one of rustic charm combined with remarkable drinkability.
Pairing: The 2021 Domaine de Durban Beaumes-de-Venise Rouge's rich fruit profile and velvety texture make it a versatile wine to pair with various dishes. Its soft tannins and vibrant acidity complement hearty meat dishes, such as beef stew, roast pork, or lamb chops (see below). The wine's herbal notes also make it a great match for dishes featuring earthy vegetables like mushrooms, eggplant, or bell peppers.
This southern Rhône red pairs exceptionally well with traditional Provençal cuisine. Consider serving it alongside ratatouille, a vegetable medley of tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers, or with a classic daube Provençale, a slow-cooked beef stew with red wine, tomatoes, and black olives. Additionally, the wine's herbaceous character complements the herbs and spices commonly used in the region, such as thyme, rosemary, and Herbes de Provence.
For vegetarian pairings, consider dishes that incorporate rich, savory flavors and umami elements. A mushroom risotto or a hearty eggplant Parmesan would make an excellent choice, as would a lentil stew with aromatic herbs and spices. Alternatively, a traditional ratatouille or grilled vegetable platter featuring bell peppers, zucchini, and Portobello mushrooms, seasoned with garlic and rosemary, would harmonize beautifully with the wine's fruit and herbal notes.
Lamb Chops With Beans, Corn and Zucchini
By David Tanis
About. Deep in the heart of the southern Rhône, Domaine de Durban holds a rich history that spans millennia, producing exceptional wines that reflect the unique terroir of this region. Known primarily for their Muscat Beaumes-de-Venise, a luscious nectar praised by Pliny the Elder two thousand years ago, the Leydier family of Domaine de Durban also crafts a crowd-pleasing Beaumes-de-Venise Rouge that has garnered well-deserved attention.
The Vineyard's Bounty. Nestled on gentle hillsides, the vines of Domaine de Durban enjoy the pampering of generous sunshine and fragrant breezes saturated with wild thyme and rosemary from the nearby garrigue. Primarily composed of Grenache, with some Syrah and a touch of Mourvèdre, the grapes achieve superb ripeness each year, resulting in a powerful yet balanced red wine that is age-worthy and an excellent bargain for the cellar.
Velvety Texture and Inviting Aromas. The 2021 Domaine de Durban Beaumes-de-Venise Rouge showcases the domaine's ability to consistently produce dense, full-bodied, rustic, and incredibly drinkable reds. Aged in neutral oak, this wine boasts a deep and robust profile, with soft and fuzzy tannins that make it a perfect companion to a variety of dishes, from pozole and burgers to pizza and grilled meats. The inviting aromas of black fruits and dried herbs, typical of wines from the area, further enhance its appeal.
A Historical Setting. A walk through the high-altitude vineyards of Domaine de Durban is akin to taking a step back in time. The domaine and its vineyards are situated atop a picturesque plateau in the Vaucluse, sheltered by the Dentelles de Montmirail, just above the village of Beaumes-de-Venise. The site itself once housed a Roman healing springs destination, and traces of ancient Roman roof tiles and medieval pot shards can still be found in the soil.
Rich Legacy and Winemaking Philosophy. Domaine de Durban has been run by the Leydier family since Jacques Leydier purchased the property in the 1960s, and is currently managed by his grandsons, Henri and Philippe. The Leydiers are dedicated to preserving the domaine's rich legacy and tradition of crafting exceptional wines, such as their powerful and aromatic Gigondas, velvety Beaumes-de-Venise Rouge, and the most celebrated Muscat in the entire appellation.
A Constellation of Fortune. The vineyards at Domaine de Durban benefit from a unique set of factors that contribute to the consistent excellence of their wines. Pine trees protect the area from the intensity of the persistent mistral, while rich and deep soils composed of clay, limestone, and soft, ochre Trias lend finesse and freshness. The high altitude and strong sun exposure create a slightly cooler microclimate, which the Leydiers credit for the remarkable consistency of their wines.
A Timeless Treasure. The 2021 Domaine de Durban Beaumes-de-Venise Rouge is a testament to the domaine's commitment to quality and tradition. This delectable red wine, born from a place steeped in history and imbued with the flavors and aromas of the southern Rhône, offers a unique and memorable experience that transports the drinker through time. A timeless treasure, indeed.
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