2012 Côtes du Rhône Rouge, Domaine Chaume Arnaud

2012 Côtes du Rhône Rouge, Domaine Chaume Arnaud

Product: 20121312487
2012 Côtes du Rhône Rouge, Domaine Chaume Arnaud

Description

One of the finest generic Côtes du Rhône that we know, the 2012 is the traditional blend of Grenache (60%), Syrah (20%) and Cinsault, the latter adding a spicy backdrop to attractive dark fruit profile.  Liquorice, tobacco and sousbois add further complexity.
Simon Field MW, Rhône Wine Buyer

The Chaume Arnauds are high achievers it seems; the eldest son of Philippe and Valérie , Rafael is now a full time first team  pro at Clermont Ferrand, one of the better French rugby union teams, by all accounts. Meanwhile the other son, also built like a second row forward, is helping to take the property to new heights of excellence. Full biodynamic accreditation from the 2009 vintage underlines intent and in 2012 we have a perfect showcase for the  fashionable  appellations of  Vinsobres.
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About this WINE

Domaine Chaume Arnaud

Domaine Chaume Arnaud

Domaine Chaume-Arnaud is owned and run by Valérie and Philippe Chaume-Arnaud, a young and vibrant couple with 13.5 hectares situated in and around Vinsobres, made up principally of Grenache (60%); Syrah (20%) with some ancient Cinsault, Carignan and Mourvedre (10%) plus Viognier and Marsanne (10%). Yields are kept low, all soil treatments are organic, and harvesting is done solely by hand. Most of the vines average 30 years old, going up to 65 for the Carignan in the Vinsobres cuvée.

Philippe looks after the vines while Valérie works the cellar, all under the watchful eye of her parents - her mother's method of tracking Philippe down is to drive literally into a vineyard and stand and scream at the top of her voice until he appears.

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Côtes du Rhône

Côtes du Rhône

Classified in 1937, Côtes du Rhône is an enormous appellation encompassing red, white and rosé wines covering an area of 40,300 ha and producing a crop that is 3 times larger than Beaujolais and almost as much as Bordeaux. Although this wine can come from across the Rhône region, more than 90% comes from the south. With the honourable exception of those produced by famous northern names like Jaboulet and Guigal, the finest examples are made in the south.

Red wine dominates, made with a minimum of 40% Grenache (except in the north where Syrah is allowed to be top dog) normally partnered by Syrah and/or Mourvèdre; another 18 varieties are also permitted. Typically light and fruity, the best examples can be rich, spicy and full-bodied. Almost all are best drunk young. 

Quality varies from the very ordinary to the exceptional. Much is produced by cooperatives but the best come from the increasing number of individual estates and Châteauneuf-du-Pape producers like Beaucastel who produce premium entry wines here. White and rosé Côtes du Rhônes account for only 2% and 4% respectively, although both can be very good.  

Recommended Producers : Ferraton, Chave, Chapoutier, Vins de Vienne, Andre Romero's La Soumade, Boudinaud, Beaucastel

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Southern Rhône Blend

Southern Rhône Blend

The vast majority of wines from the Southern Rhône are blends. There are 5 main black varieties, although others are used and the most famous wine of the region, Châteauneuf du Pape, can be made from as many as 13 different varieties. Grenache is the most important grape in the southern Rhône - it contributes alcohol, warmth and gentle juicy fruit and is an ideal base wine in the blend. Plantings of Syrah in the southern Rhône have risen dramatically in the last decade and it is an increasingly important component in blends. It rarely attains the heights that it does in the North but adds colour, backbone, tannins and soft ripe fruit to the blend.

The much-maligned Carignan has been on the retreat recently but is still included in many blends - the best old vines can add colour, body and spicy fruits. Cinsault is also backtracking but, if yields are restricted, can produce moderately well-coloured wines adding pleasant-light fruit to red and rosé blends. Finally, Mourvèdre, a grape from Bandol on the Mediterranean coast, has recently become an increasingly significant component of Southern Rhône blends - it often struggles to ripen fully but can add acidity, ripe spicy berry fruits and hints of tobacco to blends.

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