WineWriting.com & French Mediterranean Wine
Richard Mark James' wine and travel blog

07 June 2012

Rhone: Domaine Coteaux des Travers, Rasteau


And not forgetting Cairanne too: they grow four ha (10 acres) of vines in that neighbouring village sub-appellation to Rasteau and ten in the perhaps now better-known latter (if you see what I mean), where they make regular reds and fortified Vin Doux Naturel reds both centered on sumptuous Grenache. The team here is headed up by Robert Charavin, whose family wine roots go back to the Revolution I'm told. They recently turned fully organic in 2010, the first "official" vintage tasting-noted below at this year's Millésime Bio wine show held in Montpellier, and have since set off down the more mystic path towards biodynamism. Two of these reds (not sure which two...) cost €10.80 a bottle cellar door; and this estate is well represented in North America, the UK and Ireland: see www.coteaux-des-travers.com for distributors and some nice photos as below.
2010 Cuvée Marine white Côtes du Rhône (Marsanne, Roussanne, Grenache blanc, Viognier) - nice oily honeyed nose and palate vs juicy fruit, quite soft and exotic vs light 'mineral' bite. Good stuff.
2010 Cairanne Côtes du Rhône Villages (Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah) - peppery vs liquorice aromas/flavours, again it's quite soft on the palate vs punchy spicy finish; a touch baked perhaps but has nice Grenache style.
2010 Rasteau Réserve (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) - spicy peppery nose, richer liquorice-tinged Grenache fruit in the mouth and more structured too vs nicely rounded tannins; firm vs peppery vs concentrated finish. Lovely hearty red typical of what you'd want from this area.
2010 Rasteau Prestige (Grenache, Syrah: older vines, fermented in large cone-shaped wooden vats) - tighter and more structured, peppery and punchy mouth-feel then closes up on the finish; needs a couple of years to come out of its shell. Should be very good though.

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