Thursday, November 12, 2009

In the quiet of the Cote du Rhone, you will find peace in a bottle.

Wine runs thick as blood through the Cote du Rhone. Melodramatic much? Yes, but it´s true. Patch upon patch of vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see with the distinctive white stones, Galets, radiating heat and our hopes for great wine even in the fall sun.

We were told by our lovely French hosts in Lyon to visit Domaine du Monteillet in Chavanay. Driving up a lonely country road, we barely found the house, a tall stone walled farmhouse. We rang the bell and waited 10 minutes, worrying that no one was home. Luck was ours, dogs barked and we were in. Once inside the small wood tasting room, the magic began.

This is the land of Roussanne, Marsanne, Viogner for whites; twinkling minerality, great balanced acidity, pear, apricot notes. All of their whites were godly in stature, I nearly knelt. And their reds, as is characteristic of the region, leaned to Syrah with Mouvedre and Grennache to balance. This is my favourite blend, the seriousness of earth and spice all with a solid fruit base, I was stoked.

After the tasting, I cried inside while thinking of my 2 bottle take home maximum at the Canadian border. I hate Canada! Then, we drove off to Chateauneuf du Pape to cheer me up. Advice for travellers to this region: Park the car, get a room in a hotel in town, get out and walk to one of the billion tasting houses, try spitting when you taste so you will remember which wines you actually liked. The tasting is mostly free, so you can get into some real trouble, or fun depending on your nature. Grennache takes the lead here for reds, and the lean is towards fruit, but in that special old world way that makes it good.

4 /5 for Cote du Rhone. Simple, quiet, rustic, fabulous wine. The mark off is for the food.. saucisse avec frites. Sausage and fries, pretty boring, I'm sure it's my fault for not finding better grub.

1 comment:

  1. Robin,
    You rule.
    Full stop.