4/12/19 Cotes-du-Rhone & Chateauneuf

Friday Sips Tasting
Cotes-du-Rhone & Chateauneuf
Today April 12 from 1:30 - 6:30
Cotes-du-Rhone + one Chateauneuf from Domaine La Manarine

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$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

Domaine La Manarine is from the Plan de Dieu area in Provence that is the spiritual home of Côtes-du-Rhône wines. On this plain, it is solely CDR sans village labels or other AOP designations. A young, familial Domaine of 40 acres in a sea of grapes created by Gilles Gasq in 2001, these wines have been quite impressive in their short history.

Grenache is king in this particular area of Cotes-du-Rhone and this version is produced with 100% from 35-year-old vines. Sultry blackberry aspects intermingle with high-toned grenadine, a mix of Provencal and Thai spices, olives, great silky tannins, and lots of persistence. Excellent palate presence and soulful Rhone character, this CDR is an impeccable value for fifteen bucks.

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$16.99 BTL./$203.88 CASE

Cotes-du-Rhone wines come in all shapes sizes and colors. Best known for its red wines, this region produces minuscule amounts of white wines and then quite a bit of Rose because 95% of what is under vine are red grapes. White wines are a rarity here but what is and can be done is delicious!

50% Clairette and 50% Bourboulenc, this plucky wine has immensely flavorful attributes. Only 200 cases make into the US so there is a real uniqueness to this. Subtle rose tones, this possesses more of the orange/ginger aspects as well as a mineral that is prominent in this area of the Rhone. Direct flavors; ample lemon-lime briskness rides on top of subtle spices and follows through to a nervy finish that has sneaky exotic fruit and excellent persistence. A real steal for the price! Great to pass around as an aperitif, it will pair nicely with grilled vegetables (asparagus) and lighter fish dishes, maybe with a kiss of spice.

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$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

La Manarine’s Rose directly pressed, meaning the wines stay on their skins for a few hours to garner color then immediately pressed off and virtually treated as a white wine. Often times, superb grapes, those designated by a vigneron specifically, are destined for their Rose. These versions often attain excellent energy and cut along with plenty of depth and dimension as well as having the ability to develop and show even more in their second and sometimes third years.

Blended with 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 20% Mourvedre is a bit like holding a nine-iron up in a lightning storm! Prominent scents of cherry-pit, fig, anise and flint consistently build as it sits in the glass and carries over to a texture that fills the mouth with impressive material then totally sweeps the entire palate clean with vivid briskness as it goes down. Try it with goat cheese slathered in Mediterranean herbs and olive oil, salads or seafood pasta dishes.

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$39.99 BTL./$479.88 CASE

Gilles Gasq cut his teeth working as an assistant for now retired Chateauneuf-du-Pape legend Paul Jeune at Domaine de Montpertuis so it would only make sense that he would want to get back into the CDP game. In 2015, Gilles was able to obtain two parcels and realize his dream of making wine from the Southern Rhone’s most prestigious appellation.

100% Grenache and located in the lieu dits of Pied de Baud (sandy soil with smaller pebbles) and Cabrieres (classic, large stones), both located in the northern reaches of Chateauneuf, which often allows for cooler, refined wines. Make no mistake they are still full on and Manarine’s is a steal. Complex aromas of dark berry, violet, roasted earth, black olive tapenade and anise waft from the glass. Full bodied with a classic generous CDP texture that is laden with spice yet is part of what post-modern Rhone is about with its vividness, backbone and not being turbo charged. While there is much to come with aging, there is a fine likability to this wine at the moment. Enjoy it with grilled lamb chops, braised pork or a sirloin dressed with a bit of tapenade over the next 10-15 years.