Ah, France. When most of us think of wine, French wine is the first that comes to mind. What we call International Varieties first came to notoriety here. France is the home of Champagne, Bordeaux, and Burgundy (who prefer to be called Bourgogne now). There is the Loire Valley, Chablis, Alsace, and Provençe.
The climates in France vary from Mediterranean to continental and maritime; with the mountains and rivers, there are a variety of climates and soils. All this diversity makes for an abundance of delicious grapes and wine.
Côtes du Rhône
The Southern Rhône Valley is known for its blends. This is the home of the GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre blend). But quite honestly, a fruit basket of grapes can be used in a Côtes du Rhône including Carignan, Cinsault, Counoise, Vaccarèse, Terret, Marselan, Calitor, Muscardin, and red versions of Muscat, Picpoul. I’m sure there are more, but you get the idea. These grapes bring different things to the wine, so no two Côtes du Rhônes with be the same.
Famille Perrin is a 5th generation winery in the Southern Rhône Valley. Château de Beaucastel, their estate, is located in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the crowing jewel of the Southern Rhône.
Here ‘terroir’ means more than just the land. It is the essence of their wines. They respect and care for this place, the land, and the soil so the grapes can truly express themselves in the wine.
Famille Perrin Cotes du Rhône Reserve 2019
This wine is meant to be an everyday wine, and I would happily drink it daily. It is 40% Grenache, 40% Mourvèdre and 20% Syrah. It ferments in stainless steel and ages for a year, partially in stainless steel tanks and partly in oak barrels.
They say that years ending in 9 seem to be memorable. Here is a quote from their website.
“The years in 9 regularly mark the memory of winegrowers, and this vintage was no exception. After an early bud burst in early April, flowering was gradual and took place in good conditions in all the vineyards. Then a hot summer began in late June, which the vines bravely resisted: they suffered little from water stress, thanks to the chamomile herbal infusions we sprayed on the vegetation to cope with the heat. Finally, the harvest went as usual, without any particular precocity. The wines are promising; a vintage in 9 is born, once again, under a lucky star.”