Saturday, July 14, 2012

Perrin et Fils Cotes du Rhone Villages Rasteau L'Andeol, 2004

Rasteau and Cairanne are close on the map but far apart in their aroma/flavor profiles. Cairanne bursts with ripe cherries and berries; Rasteau is darker and more brooding with minerals and black fruits. As most of you here know, I am partial to Cairanne but am always anxious to see what Rasteau has to offer.

There is no question that the Perrin family (who also produce Beaucastel and La Vieille Ferme) know how to choose the grapes that are needed to make great wine, and the small L'Andeol vineyard they own is one of the best in Rasteau. I smell smoke, coffee and, of course, Rasteau black fruits and minerals. Now some spicy, peppery Grenache notes. On the palate, the warm spices are lovely; 14% alcohol is a bit on the high side, but just right for this wine. Even though the Perrins use traditional winemaking methods, they aged 10% of this Rasteau in French oak barrels, and I defer to their judgment. I think the new oak makes the finish a bit smoother and maybe a little less funky wirhout destroying the traditional Rasteau traits.

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