The 2020 Cote a Cotes checks in as 45% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 22% Mourvèdre, with the balance Graciano and Viognier, that was brought up in equal parts barrel, concrete, and amphora. It’s a full-bodied, ripe, sexy wine offering fabulous dark fruits as well as subtle violet and orange blossom aromatics. The balance is spot on, it has terrific purity, and it’s another brilliant wine in the making.
Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com (Sep 2021)
This is delicious, with winemaker and owner Stephan Asseo taking a Rhone blend and making it his own in California. This was a hot vintage, and the flavours are deep and powerful, blackcurrant, redcurrant, mandarin peel, freshly grated ginger, this has quite a punch. 33% new oak barrels, 17% concrete, 15% amphoras, and the rest neutral oak barrels.
Drink 2024 - 2038
Jane Anson, janeanson.com (Jun 2022)
About this WINE
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.