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2010 Sotanum, Vins de Pays, Les Vins de Vienne
Red | Ready, but will improve | Les Vins De Vienne | Code: 10656 | 2010 | France > Vin de Pays > VdP des Comtes Rhodaniens > VdP des Collines Rhodaniennes | Syrah/Shiraz | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 13.5 % alcohol
Les Vins de Vienne was the name given to the wines of the Seyssuel region in the Roman times, which were reportedly of some repute. It is also the name given to the négociant firm and a domaine recently set up by three leading winemakers from the Northern Rhône, Yves Cuilleron, Pierre Gaillard and François Villard.
For the domaine, the team have resurrected a long-neglected vineyard area on the steep hills in the commune of Seyssuel, a little bit further north of the town of Vienne, in the far northern reaches of the Rhône Valley.
For the négociant business they have pooled their resources and genius to forge a new benchmark for négoçiant and domaine Rhône wines. From the smart aesthetics of the packaging through to the sheer class of the wines themselves, the operation has made a very big impression in a very short period of time.
With plantations of Syrah and Viognier they have created wines which resemble their famous progenitors in Condrieu and Côte Rôtie, yet with subtle, fascinating points of difference. They have now spread their wings to create a whole family of wines including this extraordinarily good Côtes du Rhône
A noble black grape variety grown particularly in the Northern Rhône where it produces the great red wines of Hermitage, Cote Rôtie and Cornas, and in Australia where it produces wines of startling depth and intensity. Reasonably low yields are a crucial factor for quality as is picking at optimum ripeness. Its heartland, Hermitage and Côte Rôtie, consists of 270 hectares of steeply terraced vineyards producing wines that brim with pepper, spices, tar and black treacle when young. After 5-10 years they become smooth and velvety with pronounced fruit characteristics of damsons, raspberries, blackcurrants and loganberries.
It is now grown extensively in the Southern Rhône where it is blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre to produce the great red wines of Châteauneuf du Pape and Gigondas amongst others. Its spiritual home in Australia is the Barossa Valley, where there are plantings dating as far back as 1860. Australian Shiraz tends to be sweeter than its Northern Rhône counterpart and the best examples are redolent of new leather, dark chocolate, liquorice, and prunes and display a blackcurrant lusciousness.
South African producers such as Eben Sadie are now producing world- class Shiraz wines that represent astonishing value for money.
Yves Cuilleron and Domaine Vins de Vienne (the Yves Cuilleron - Pierre Gaillard & François Villard joint venture) are the star performers in this Vin de Pays appellation, offering red and white wines from Syrah and Viogner. The wines are distinctly modern-styled yet filled with terroir character and show depth of fruit and powerful structure.
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