Two Great Wines

by Russ Anderson on September 29, 2017

22As the temperatures cool, I find myself turning to rosés with a little bit more body and structure. This beauty comes from the Southern Rhone region of Gigondas. The area produces delicious reds based around the triumvirate of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre that drink comparably to more expensive Chateauneuf du Papes.

Domaine du Gour de Chaulé is in the middle of the village of Gigondas and was founded in 1900. For years the sold their wine in but to negotiants. Fortunate for us, in 1970 they started bottling an increasing amount for sale to the public. The Rosé is composed of Cinsault (50%), Grenache, and Mourvedre. This is a brilliantly colored wine with hues of pink and rose accompanied by flavors and a bouquet dominated by the impression of freshly crushed strawberries. Notes of apricot and peach make it a great wine to pair with grilled fish, even richer ones like bluefish. It drinks almost like a light red so is equally suited to sipping by itself as the sun fades to dusk.

There are 1200 bottles a year that make it to the US market, so we are fortunate to see them in the state. For those looking for a slightly beefier rose suited to cooler weather, this is just the ticket. $28 a bottle.

23One of the more exciting ‘projects’ I have been following is that established between importer Kermit Lynch and producer Louis Barruol of Domaine St Cosme. They have teamed up to source and produce some spectacular wines from the Northern Rhone. I happened upon these last year and was struck by the quality and price. My suspicions were confirmed when in January I found that most of the wines had already been bought by the rest of the US market. So, I begged, pleaded, negotiated and was able to get just a little bit of some very exciting wines.

Barruol Lynch – I’m not sure one could imagine a better “Dream Team” for the northern Rhone. Famed importer Kermit Lynch teams up with Louis Barruol, famed producer and owner of Chateau St Cosme. There multi-decades of experience combined with their excellent and experienced palates are focused on producing wines that honor both unique sites within the Northern Rhone and a classy, elegant and delicious style of wine. These wines combine richness and depth with elegance and length in a way that makes them a pleasure to drink throughout the meal.

Louis Barruol Crozes-Hermitage Tiercerolles, Rhone, France
The “Tiercerolles” is a wine of a higher “pedigree” than some Crozes as it comes from the sloped hillsides instead of the flatlands. Full of gorgeous plum, notes of dark chocolate and even hints of umami rich salinity squid ink. This wine is a little forward, certainly ready to drink now, but also built for the long haul. There is a touch of sauvage to the wine, that has me thinking of fruit compotes from mountain harvest berries that slowly cook over a campfire. It just begs to be paired with lamb or grilled mushrooms, game birds and more. $34, less than 10 cases of this wine available in the state. (Note: they also make some higher end bottlings from Hermitage, a red and a white, and Cote Rotie, that I will feature in a future email, but only a case of each is available.)

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