Saturday, March 14, 2009

2006 J. L. Chave Selection Cotes du Rhone "Mon Coeur" Rhone France

2006 J. L. Chave Selection Cotes du Rhone "Mon Coeur" Rhone France
Suggested retail price $19-$22
Imported by Erin Cannon Imports & distributed by Willette wines in NYC

When it is neither too cold nor too hot outside, Spring and Autumn seem to be the perfect seasons to experience earthy, Syrah and Grenache based red Rhône wines, especially those from Domaine Chave. Combining traditional methods with new techniques and respect for the environment, they produce some of the finest red and white wines from Hermitage.

Family owned, Domaine Jean Louis Chave is one of the oldest and one of the most recognized wineries of the Rhône Valley. Famous for their world renowned Hermitage, Chave produces a number of other delicious bottlings from the region

In the early 1970’s, Gerard Chave, Jean-Louis' father, bought the Domaine, slowly built the international reputation of its red and white Hermitage and gradually expanded the vineyards. From a family of vine growers since 1481, Jean-Louis followed his father’ steps, helped him in the wine making process since 1982 and finally joined him in 1992.

Domaine Chave is now one of the largest family-run estates in northern Rhone with E. Guigal, outside “négociants” like Chapoutier, Paul Jaboulet Aîné, and the “Cave de Tain l'Hermitage”. They possess 14.5 hectares (1/4 Roussanne and Marsanne and 3/4 Syrah) planted on terraces around Hermitage and also own a further 1.5 hectare in St-Joseph.

As Jean-Louis Chave became more and more involved, he emphasized the quality of the soil by applying organic farming involving natural compost, indigenous yeast and careful grapes selection with minimum use of sulfites. Chave even uses a horse to work the vineyards. The result shows in his stunning Hermitages but also in his smaller vineyards like this earthy, enjoyable "Mon Coeur" Cotes du Rhone.

The delicious and attractively priced “Mon Coeur” is a blend of predominantly Grenache with a good dose of Syrah. The wine boasts fresh, earthy aromas of red and dark berries with floral and mineral hints. On the palate, blackberry and raspberry fruit flavors intermingle with notes of licorice, dark chocolate and peppery spices. The earthy, somewhat rustic tannins complement the dense fruit profile and lead way to a lingering finish. “Mon Coeur” will pair well with stuffed game, wild birds including a classic roast turkey, duck or pheasant.


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