Chapoutier has vineyards in Hermitage in the Northern Rhone but for this simple Cotes du Rhone, he buys grapes from growers near Sablet and Seguret in the Southern Rhone. He clearly made some good choices; this is an admirable example of a negotiant's Cotes du Rhone.
The color is deep and dark, and the wine is relatively big boned. It is more like the Trois Couronnes than the Pont du Rhone. Aromas and flavors include freshly ground black pepper, red berries, dark cherries and garrigue. Flavors are sharply defined and there are no sharp edges or alcoholic heat. The deep color and body can probably be attributed to a lengthy maceration on the skins. The wine was raised in stainless steel with no oak contact.
Chapoutier's wines are ordinarly not available in my marketing area. I chose a glass of Belleruche ($8) to accompany an excellent entree of lamb shanks with beets and parsnips at Amical Restaurant in Traverse City.