About this WINE
La Famille Perrin
The Domaine Perrin is a négociant brand created in 1997 by François Perrin and his brother Jean-Pierre, Pierre's father, and since 1999 run by Pierre. The Perrin family are owners of the famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape estate Château de Beaucastel.
As with the wines at Beaucastel, the Domaine Perrin wines are impeccably made and reflect the true nature of the terroir from which they come. The wines made are all from the neighbouring Southern Rhône appellations to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, such as Vacqueyras and Gigondas. The reds are based on Grenache, but with other Rhône grape varieties, such as Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault.
The Perrins are one of the most reliable wine families in the Rhône valley, truly a name to look out for.
One of the very best villages in the Southern Rhône region, Rasteau’s red wines were promoted to their own AOC in July 2010. Before that, Rasteau merely appended its name to that of Côtes du Rhône Villages.
The vineyards are located north of Gigondas, and the wines, mainly from Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre grapes, are deep-coloured and robust, with a good structure and spicy warmth. A small amount of slightly heady white and rosé are also produced.
The Appellation Rasteau Contrôlée, established in 1944, is used for the commune’s sweet, grapey Vins Doux Naturels made from Grenache. These hearty wines come in various shades of white, rosé, tawny and red depending on how they are made and aged. Best enjoyed in their youth they seem to be making a revival, although they are not as good or as popular as those from the Rhône’s other Vin Doux Naturel appellation, Muscat de Beaumes de Venise.
A further AOC is Rasteau Rancio, a Vin Doux Naturel that has been exposed to sunshine and oxygen in barrels for up to two years, resulting in a sticky brown wine of variable quality.
Recommended producer: Domaine la Soumade
Grenache (Noir) is widely grown and comes in a variety of styles. Believed to originate in Spain, it was, in the late 20th century, the most widely planted black grape variety in the world. Today it hovers around seventh in the pecking order. It tends to produce very fruity, rich wines that can range quite widely in their level of tannin.
In many regions – most famously the Southern Rhône, where it complements Syrah and Mourvèdre, among other grapes – it adds backbone and colour to blends, but some of the most notable Châteauneuf du Pape producers (such as Château Rayas) make 100 percent Grenache wines. The grape is a component in many wines of the Languedoc (where you’ll also find its lighter-coloured forms, Grenache Gris and Blanc) and is responsible for much southern French rosé – taking the lead in most Provence styles.
Found all over Spain as Garnacha Tinta (spelt Garnaxa in Catalonia), the grape variety is increasingly detailed on wine labels there. Along with Tempranillo, it forms the majority of the blend for Rioja’s reds and has been adopted widely in Navarra, where it produces lighter styles of red and rosado (rosé). It can also be found operating under a pseudonym, Cannonau, in Sardinia.
Beyond Europe, Grenache is widely planted in California and Australia, largely thanks to its ability to operate in high temperatures and without much water. Particularly in the Barossa Valley, there are some extraordinary dry-farmed bush vines, some of which are centuries old and produce wines of startling intensity.