2017 Rasteau, La Ponce, Domaine des Escaravailles

2017 Rasteau, La Ponce, Domaine des Escaravailles

Product: 20178015457
2017 Rasteau, La Ponce, Domaine des Escaravailles

Description

The vines’ reasonably high-altitude location preserves the grapes’ freshness for this powerful Rasteau. The Grenache is unoaked, but the Syrah sees a little wood, adding a layer of complexity. The palate displays powerful blackberry fruit and a hint of lavender. The tannins are abundant but very fine, with a nice floral lift on the finish. Drink now to 2025.
Oliver Barton, Buyer Assistant

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About this WINE

Domaine des Escaravailles

Domaine des Escaravailles

Located high in the hills behind the villages of Roaix and Rasteau, Escaravailles dates from 1953 and is now in the more than capable hands of Gilles Ferran, who has constructed a new cuverie and built the reputation of the domaine into one of the leading names in the region.

Escaravaille, for those of an inquisitive disposition, is the Occitane word for beetle (hence the labels) and also the term once used to describe the black-robed monks of the region, presumably from the Benedictine order. Gilles farms 40 hectares in Rasteau and 15 in Cairanne and his wines are justly celebrated as leading examples in both villages.

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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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