2012 Côtes du Rhône, Mon Coeur, Jean-Louis Chave Sélection

2012 Côtes du Rhône, Mon Coeur, Jean-Louis Chave Sélection

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2012 Côtes du Rhône, Mon Coeur, Jean-Louis Chave Sélection

Description

Jean-Louis Chave does not do anything by halves, be it his sublime Hermitage, his outstanding St Joseph or his nominally humble Côtes-du-Rhône. Three villages closest to the north of the south play a key part; Valréas, Vinsobres and Visan, which share, apart from their initial letter, vines at relative altitude and a little more Syrah than some areas. Chave is in his element! He manages the 60% of Grenache with great aplomb and the wine has good colour and real peppery concentration. The tannins are quite firm at the back; decanting may be an option, another quality indicator.
Simon Field MW, Wine Buyer
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About this WINE

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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