Grape Escape: Rhone Valley


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Domaine Maby “La Fermade” Lirac Blanc 2021 The region of Lirac is in the southern portion of the valley on the West bank of the Rhone River. Medium-bodied with honeysuckle and stone fruit notes. Think of Chardonnay without the butter and add in some floral notes. Pair with roast chicken for an easy elevation of your weeknight. 40% Clairette, 25% Picpoul, 35% Grenache Blanc.
Chateau d’Aquaria Rose, Tavel 2020 A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, and Clairette. It boasts an alluring bouquet of rose petals, ripe strawberries, and a subtle hint of spice. It has more weight than a rose from Provence.
Domaine Du Pourra Gigondas “La Reserve” 2016 Gigondas – it’s just fun to say. Gi-gon-das. The region makes a smattering of whites and rose but focuses on red wine from the Grenache grape blended with its partners in crime.
Domaine de la Charbonnière, Vacqueyras 2020 Fifteen years ago, no one had ever heard of Vacqueyras, and it was practically impossible to find it here. Today, these easy-drinking wines are finding their way onto more and more wine lists, but not retail. Strawberry jam, white pepper, and new cowboy boots – that’s what I visualize every time I take a sniff! 60% Grenache, 40% Syrah.
M. Chapoutier, La Ciboise, Luberon 2021 Remember those strawberry hard candies with the liquid centers? The nose on this smells like you dropped one on a muddy path and crushed it. Luberon is the appellation encompassing the most eastern portion of the Southern Rhône valley. Tons of sunshine but cool winds from the Alps keep the wines from getting jammy.
Alain Jaume “La Butte d’Or” Saint-Joseph 2020 Saint-Joseph is a cru in the Northern Rhône that is almost always 100% Syrah. This wine is like a theatre kid—broody and a bit dramatic, but absolutely delightful. On the nose, you’ll find notes of blackberries, smoked meats, and black pepper, adding to its intriguing allure.