94 Insider Points
An Old World Lover's Dream
There are many styles of wine that fit into what I'll call my "yum" factors. Sometimes they are fruit-driven (when well-balanced), but more often than not, it's the earthy, Old World flavors that drive my palate. Hence why I was keen to select the Rasteau from our Direct Import supplier, Domaine Guintrandy. You can of course find all sorts of fruity yet earthy blends out of the Rhone, but this one is pure earth. I recommend this for any who's mouth waters at the sound of leather and hay. Me, I'll gravitate towards this any day.
A pungent nose of fresh leather and dried cranberry. The palate is medium bodied, with tones of dehydrated cherry, tanned leather, clay minerality and a dash of dried rosemary. More fruit rises as it breathes, about 10-15 minutes, the oxygen smoothing out the more bitter tones, leading into a medium finish. A wine to enjoy with a tasty cigar. 94 Points - JZ June '18
Rasteau, Côtes du Rhône, France
Universally, the press has said this: "2015 might be the best vintage for years for the classic French wine regions". So in all honesty, we had some big expectations for this wine before we tasted it. Suffice it to say, we were ever-happy with what we sniffed, swirled and sipped. A generous, spicy, southern Rhône blend, on the palate it validates why Rasteau was elevated to independent appellation d'origine controlee (AOC) status.
Rasteau has been making a name for itself over the last few decades, and Domaine La Guintrandy’s 2015 interpretation of this Southern Rhone terroir is hands-down one of the best imports we’ve brought stateside so far.
- Domaine La Guintrandy caught our eye for a number of reasons, one of which is there legacy: since 1850 it’s been a family estate and Marie-Claude and Olivier Cuilleras are the fifth and sixth generation owner winegrowers.
- Rasteau itself is some pretty famous terroir: it’s wines are terrific, rustic, and gutsy, all of which is exemplified in Domaine La Guintrandy 2015 vintage.
- The vintage itself was superb in Rasteau--John Livingston writing for Decanter says that “across the southern Rhône, the vintage has produced full reds . . . with a lot of fruit, well absorbed tannins and dark colours” and particularly in “Rasteau . . . the reds are well built, and will age well over 10+ years.”
- The Rhone Valley is a long stretch of land, and the northern and southern halves couldn’t be more dissimilar from each other. First and foremost, the Southern Rhone is a mediterranean region, and our sourcing team loves its mediterranean wines. In 2015, the Southern Rhone produced some full reds: a very good vintage, especially in the village of Rasteau, with a lot of fruit and well absorbed tannins, with dark, inky colors. This is a well-built Cotes-du-Rhone that will age well for over 10 years--while also being perfect for the time it takes it to travel from us to you.
- 2015 offered a slightly higher yield crop than usual, which usually means more dilution; and we were impressed, having said that, with how much of a rustic quality shines through in spite of the higher yield, and how it syncs up nicely with the higher fruit notes that also come from a higher yield as well, aided of course by the calcareous clay soil, which lends itself particularly to growing above par Grenache and Syrah.
This is a wine of many flavors. Pepper and cranberry nose. blackberry, raspberry, white pepper, rosemary, plum skin tannin. long berry and umami finish.
"Ideal spring conditions were followed by warm, dry weather through July and then heavy rains in August. Earlier-ripening Viognier and Syrah struggled a bit, while later-ripening Grenache and Mourvèdre excelled; reds are rich, ripe and full of powerful fruit. In the style of 2009 and 2007, with better definition." -Wine Spectator
From the winery:
La Guintrandy is a wine estate situated on one of the most prestigious "terroir" or soils of Visan. "Le Devès." Practically all of our wines, including the rosé, are unfiltered and in order to preserve the bouquet and authenticity of certain wines, produced from the oldest red wines.
We have quite intentionally reduced the SO2 content of our wines in order to respect theist integrity and to avoid dry flavours (and headaches) that are so often to be found in other wines. The domaine "La Guintrandy" is situated at the gateway to the "Enclave des Papes" in the commune of Visan and Tulette. It is a modern vineyard steeped in history ; indeed, in 1966 the remains of Saracen burial ground were discovered on the land.
The name Guintrandy is derived from the Visigoth word Guntran, this place name found in the archives of the abbey of Cluny, which owned the land in around the year 1000. A well-preserved thirteenth century papal boundary stone marks the beginning of the domaine and the borderline between the modern Departments of the Drôme and the Vaucluse.
Later in time the Guintrandy family, nobles from Visan were to become the owners of the land and to settle in the Rue des Nobles ; though they cannot be raced after the middle of the 18th centuries. Since 1850 the domaine has been a family estate and Marie-Claude and Olivier Cuilleras are the fifth and sixth generation of owner winegrowers. The vineyard which crosses the Visan hamlet of Devès and the Tulette hamlets of Combes and Saint-Léger is situated at an altitude of between 180 and 230 meters on calcareous clay which lends itself particularly to wine growing.
This is a very food-friendly wine. You can try it alongside any beef, pork, duck, or lamb dish. Because of the high acidity in the wine, it will pair best with salty or fatty foods. Decant 30 minutes before serving.