From: Rhône Valley, France
Blend: 40% Grenache, 35% Syrah, and 15% Carignan
Taste: This organic Rhône red is a plush expression of the region's rich terroir. Bright, ruby red fruits lead into a complex bouquet of smoky cassis, blackberries, dried orange peel, and sweet spice. You'll discover a delightful mix of red and black fruits on the palate with smooth, brambly tannins accompanied by a well-balanced spice and fruit profile. The finish is supple and fresh with an inviting dash of orange zest and black pepper—a rewarding wine showcasing old vines Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Counoise in a highly drinkable form.
Pairing: This wine's supple nature and well-rounded tannins offer various pairing options. Its Southern Rhône character is perfect with grilled meats such as lamb chops, roast beef, or sausages. A Moroccan spiced lamb tagine (we’re sharing a recipe for Chicken and Chickpea Tagine by Mark Bittman below) or a classic beef bourguignon would also resonate beautifully with the wine's spicy notes. Grilled portobello mushrooms seasoned with herbs would make a satisfying match for vegetarians.
Chicken and Chickpea Tagine
By Mark Bittman
About. In the Southern Rhone Valley's sun-drenched village of Estézargues, a unique cooperative cellar has consistently produced top-tier wines that delight the palate without damaging the wallet. Enter Les Vignerons d'Estézargues, a standout cooperative for its revolutionary practices in winemaking and the home of the impeccable Côtes du Rhône Villages "Les Genestas Signargues" 2020.
"Les Genestas Signargues" 2020 is a well-balanced, bold Rhone red, embodying an impressive dance of spice, fruit, and tannin. This cuvée, crafted from 40% Grenache, 35% Syrah, and 15% Carignan, offers a fine example of organic farming and natural vinification. The name derives from the vineyard's striking abundance of Spanish broom plants (genet in French), painting a vivid picture of the terroir's personality.
The vineyard's span of 20 to 80 years old vines flourish on red clay speckled with small stones, creating a formidable basis for the grapes' flavors. With a ruby red appearance and an inviting amethyst rim, the wine lures you into a sensual olfactory journey brimming with smoky notes of cassis, blackberries, dried orange peel, and sweet spice. Its palate presents a fresh expression of red and black fruits supported by brambly tannins, ending with a supple dash of orange zest and black pepper. A perfect accompaniment to all kinds of grilled fare!
Remarkably, Les Vignerons D'Estézargues, one of the first cooperatives in France to start farming organically, managed to maintain this superb quality despite the wine's impossible value. This accomplishment becomes even more impressive considering the co-op's unique approach in 1995 to vinify their wines separately, focusing on single cuvées from their best plots.
Beyond their innovative farming and vinification, Les Vignerons D' Estézargues is a prime example of a cooperative moving the needle towards natural winemaking. Under the passionate leadership of Michael Trebillon, who grows the fruit for Domaine les Genestas, and Denis Deschamps, who crafts the wine, the co-op uses no external yeasts, no filtering, no fining, and no additives except for minimal sulfites. The result of their efforts is a treasure trove of acclaimed wines that accurately reflect their terroir.
Established in 1965, the cooperative started its journey to quality winemaking as early as the 1980s, led by the talented vigneron Jean-Francois Nicq. With a management change in 2021, the co-op is now led by CEO and winemaker Armelle Rouault, making Estézargues one of the pleasantly growing numbers of female-led wineries.
Today, Estézargues distinguishes itself from conventional co-ops by focusing on separating their terroirs, ensuring that each plot's unique personality shines through. It's one of the rare cooperatives of this size worldwide that has most of its growers certified organic and creates wines without any additions save for occasional sulfur at bottling. This focus on quality and environmental respect positions Les Vignerons d'Estézargues at the forefront of the winemaking revolution.
Being just a short drive from the famed city of Avignon, Les Vignerons d'Estézargues offers such exceptional quality that it's no surprise wine lovers are flocking to them. Their unique approach to cooperative winemaking and commitment to organic and natural practices have created a reputation that resonates far beyond the borders of their village.
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