Delas Freres 2016 “St-Esprit” Côtes du Rhône Rouge (95D)
- Size: 750ml
- Item Code: 753625103402
- Vintage: 2016
60% Syrah, 40% Grenache. Lovely rich opulent and floral, black berry and plum nose, the palate is big with well layered fruit, attractively firm but soft tannin and hints of oak, a big wine with a lovely finish.” (D)
“A blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache, the 2016 Cotes du Rhone Saint-Esprit is a screaming value.” (RP)
The Rhône can be divided into two regions with different viticulture philosophy: Northern Rhône focues on one principal grape — Syrah; Southern Rône produces blended wines, allowing as much as 13 grape varieties in some bottles. Thus Northern Rhône wine tends to have an intense, smokey character while the Southern wine assumes a rounder personality (The juicy Grenache grape is often used as a dominant blend).
Hermitage, Côte Rôtie, Crozes-Hermitage, St. Joseph, and Cornas are the most well-known Northern Rhône communes focusing on Syrah. There are fine differences in these subregional wines. For example, Hermitage Syrah is well known for its deep color, intense nose, and full-bodied structure. Crozes-Hermitage, the largest appellation the northern region, offers softer Syrah, blending it the lighter Marsanne and Roussanne. Hidden amid these Syrah focused communes, the small Condrieu appellation produces Viognier. Because of the low production volume, Condrieu commands highest price for its dry white wine.
Majority of the wine in Southern Côtes du Rhône is red, though ~15% is dedicated to rosé and white. Key appellations include Coteaux du Tricastin, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vacqueryas, Gigondas, Tavel, Beaumes-de-Venise, Côtes du Ventoux, and Côtes du Lubéron. As mentioned earlier, southern Rhône reds are blended with many varietals. For example, reds from Châteauneuf-du-Pape (a well-known appellations) are composed of Grenache (50-70%), Syrah (10-30%), Cinsault, Mourvèdre and other reds (~20%) and Marsanne other white varietals (5-10%). In addition, Côtes du Ventoux is an appellation famous for its Vin Doux Naturel — a delicious dessert wine made with the Muscat grapes.