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Friday, 14 August 2020

Côtes du Rhône Villages - Roaix and Laudun

Three Côtes du Rhône Villages wines with food

Domaine Pique Basse L'Atout Du Pique
Les Templiers, Roaix
Rocca Maura ‘Les Barryes’

The southern Rhône is one of my favourite wine areas: if you have ever been there in summer, the name alone can be enough to evoke lavender-scented fields at the foot of the Alps. Its wines balance a southern warmth and substance with complexity and a fresh food-friendliness.

With overseas travel proving something of a gamble this year, I opened up a supper box from Côtes du Rhône with three bottles of their wine in the garden one evening and tuned into a podcast on the region from writer Matt Walls and presenter Joe Wadsack.

After all, if you can't get to the Rhône, why not bring the Rhône to your home?
The supper box contained local salami and cheeses with bread, pickles and all sorts gastronomic loveliness. But the really immersive touch was the bunch of lavender which instantly took me back to lazy summer holidays with rocky mountains and winding country roads.

Two of the wines were from the very small Roaix sub-region which I think could become my new favourite wine area. The white is a highly-unusual single vineyard Grenache blanc (the region is almost exclusively red) which, due to its elevation and aspect, feels more northerly in style than the more-typical waxy-style of southern Rhône whites.
Matt suggests chilling the red, which on a hot day is a good idea, and in any event keeps its big personality a little more in check.

Domaine Pique Basse L'Atout Du Pique, Côtes Du Rhone Villages florality and lime zest on the nose with honeysuckle, marzipan, brazil nuts and creamy oatmeal, fresh apple-and-pear fruit. Concentrated, saline-mineral with leesiness. Harmonious, elegant and long.

Improves with aeration and will age.

Good.

Match with chicken, pork or meaty fish dishes.

Les Templiers, Roaix Côtes Du Rhone Villages, France GSM blend; tarry with damp earth, dark fruits and spices; dark berries, black cherry fruit and minty eucalyptus; fresh acidity and fine, gentle tannins. Long, supple, complex and adept.

Improves with aeration and will age.

Good.

Match now with roast red meats and, when aged, with darker game.

Rocca Maura ‘Les Barryes’, Côtes du Rhône Villages Laudun dark-berry fruits, black cherries, rubbed sage and complex roasted spices; full, fresh and supple and inky with rounded tannins and good underpinnings. Very well-made

Good.

Match with salamis or darker game.

If you want to listen to the podcast, here's the link to Matt's tweet about it: https://twitter.com/mattwallswine/status/1292787180226654210

Photo credit for Brian Elliott: https://twitter.com/midweekwines/status/1288084639647703042

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