We’ve slated in a classic for day 2 – Brotte Côtes du Rhône (coat-doo-rone)! Note that the ‘S’ in Côtes du Rhône is silent.
About the Producer
About the Region
Rhône Valley is situated between the Central Massif and Rhône Alps in Southeast France. In the mountainous Northern Rhône, Syrah shines in varietal wines from Cornas, Côte Rôtie, St-Joseph, and Hermitage. In some of these appellations, Syrah can be blended or co-fermented with white grapes like Viognier, Marsanne, and Roussane.
In the balmy South, blends dominate the production. Grenache, Syrah, and Mouvedre (GSM) endure the hot summers where the rocky soils radiate heat and bring the grapes to full ripeness.
A varietal is a wine that is made with just one grape variety. When referring to a grape, use the term variety.
Blends – it’s all about balance
A well-blended wine is a work of art. Seeing how the attributes of different varieties work together to create a well-balanced wine can be an eye-opening experience. Many old-world regions legislate their blends based on thousands of years of experience and supply and demand. However, more and more, we are seeing winemakers create new blends outside the traditional parameters of Bordeaux, the Rhone, and Tuscany. Newer blends might use different grapes, but the concept remains the same: use the strengths of each grape to create a wine that consumers love.
The Bordeaux region in Western France is known for its blends. On its own, Cabernet Franc can lack color and fruity notes. When blended with Merlot and Petite Verdot, Cabernet Franc can produce a delightfully balanced and complex wine. Similarly, the tannins in Mouvedre and the jammy notes in Grenache add balance to the spicy and earthy notes of Syrah to make a lovely Rhone blend.