Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Chateau Beauchene Cotes du Rhone Premier Terroir, 2006

This wine is a real find. The Premier Terroir vineyards are located between Orange and Chateauneuf du Pape and were once considered part of the Chateauneuf appellation. According to the estate, the Grenache (70%) vines are nearly 100 years old. Syrah (25%) and Mourvedre (5%) complete the cuvee; both come from vines about 30 years of age. Much more than a simple Cotes du Rhone, Premier Terroir is not up to the level of a Chateauneuf du Pape, in my estimation, but it has some of the same intrigue.

This 2006 seems to be to be at a good state of maturity for drinking. The color is deep crimson, slightly burnished. Strong scents of dark cherries and currants, slightly smoky. Now some subtle spice tones. Grenache all the way, but very classy Grenache. The appellation and the old vines are apparent. On the palate, the wine is like silk; beautifully textured. Like the aromas, the flavors take subtle little twists and turns. Not a lot of intensity but very classy with a long, harmonious finish. Some portion of this cuvee was aged in oak barriques, a practicre I ordinarily dislike, but I find nothing that detracts from the traditional qualities of a fine Southern Rhone.

I bought this bottle from Tiffany's in Kalamazoo for $15.99--an excellent value.

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