Thursday, February 21, 2008

2004 Edmunds St. John "Rocks and Gravel"

Price: $14-18

Grapes: Grenache 38%, Mourvèdre 34%, and Syrah 28%

Region: Sonoma, Paso Robles and the Sierra Foothills – a true Cotes du Rhone, via California

Color: Deep red with a ruby tinge at the edges.

Aroma: Spicy with earthy cassis and wild red berry notes.

Palate: Medium bodied. I only say so because that is the average description of the texture. It’s light on its feet feeling without a loss in texture or flavor. Cherry and especially black raspberry fruit work the palate with finesse. Its funny, this wine sees oak aging but you can only tell in texture, not in flavor - there is not trace of oak flavors. Just the texture the together with eth acidity nicely frame the flavors. The acidity this wine achieves is very refreshing, especially in California where really ripe fruit tends to have little acidity.

Conclusion: Fun, but not a wow wine, this goes exceptionally well with food and is a very interesting wine. I want to get another one to have this summer with some good grilling! I think this wine is great in the fact that it models a Cotes du Rhone better than anything I have ever had from California. Not as original as a true French Cotes du Rhone, it is great in that it combines the best of both regions. One trait that they share, however, is the sun ripened fruit clearly evident, but not overpowering in this wine.

We had this wine with Lisa's chicken Marsala and the pairing was delicious!

Cotes du Rhone: According to Wikipedia, a Côtes du Rhône is a wine-growing AOC for the Rhône wine region of France, covering vineyards outside the other named appellations both in the north and south. The appellation can also be used by growers producing wines within a specific geographical location which do not meet that location's AOC requirements for grape variety or method of production. It is also sometimes used by growers when they feel that a specific vintage does not meet the acceptable standard to be labeled with their appellation name. So in theory a producer in the Hermitage AOC (or any other Rhône Valley AOC) could label his or her wines Côtes du Rhône as long as it met the AOC requirements and he or she wished to. Red and rosé wines are made from Grenache Noir, Syrah, Cinsault, Carignane, Counoise and Mourvèdre grapes. A white Cotes du Rhone wine can be made from Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier, and Bourboulenc.


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