TGIF. And to kick off the weekend, and my first formal review of 2015, I’ve decided to treat myself to a bottle of this beautiful red blend from the Southern Rhone region of France–Château Beauchêne Côtes du Rhône Premier Terroir 2010. Where I’m sure it’s much warmer than here in frigid Ontario.
When I first popped this one open, I was a little concerned because the cork had begun to dry out and broke in half as I was pulling it out. But upon the first inhale, full of rich black cherry, violet and leather, I knew everything was more than okay.
The palate is smooth and silky–a beautiful supple mouth feel–with a subtle, lingering finish. Red berries dominate, followed by hints of spice and gaminess. A homemade Shepherd’s Pie with scratch ketchup was a fantastic pairing. You could also enjoy this with any game charcuterie such as venison or rabbit.
A blend of Grenache (70%), Syrah (25%), and Mourvedre (5%), this wine is an excellent example of the terroir of the region, which sees hotter summers as well as the drying winds of the mistral. The soil here also tends to the rockier side, as this is the area where the Continental geography and climate begins to transition over to a Mediterranean. Château Beauchêne, perched just to the north of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, comprises about 70 hectares of vineyards and enjoys slightly cooler temperatures, which results in lighter, more delicate wines than further south.
FUN FACTS: The Bernard family has been farming and growing grapes on this estate since before the French Revolution! They have also been working to become more environmentally sustainable, and recently purchased 30 hectares of forest to offset their carbon footprint.