The Rhône Valley vineyards are spread over 190,250 acres, making it the second largest appellation in France after Bordeaux. The B&G Côtes du Rhône comes from the southern part of the appellation (between Montélimar and Avignon). The climate is a Mediterranean one, particularly subject to the Mistral (a strong north wind which blows down the Rhône Valley towards the Mediterranen Sea). There is a variety of soil types, from cobblestones to clay, sand and limestone. These soils are well suited not only to providing the vine with sufficient water, but also to releasing day time heat stored in the rocks and soil during the night. It is ideal terroir for producing rich and powerful wines.
After the frost of April 14th, heat, generous sunshine and a dry period dominated the weather during the growing cycle of the vines. The Grenache was unusually high-yielding this year, which created a blending challenge. A significant amount of Carignan and Syrah were used to balance the Grenache and add structure and depth to the Grenache's fruity, forward flavors.
In making this wine, the goal is to extract good fruit aromas without excessive tannin. After the grapes were destemmed, the alcoholic fermentation was carried out at a high temperature (86-95°F) with daily délestage (a new method of pumping also known as "rack and return", over whereby the tank is emptied of its fermenting juice, which is then pumped back over the skins: this method makes for better and more even extraction). The number of pumpovers is determined by regular tasting during fermentation. The length of the maceration depends on the grape variety (four days for Grenache and more than 15 days for Syrah and Carignan). In the final blend, Syrah gives the wine structure, color and floral aromas, Grenache gives richness and toasted aromas, and Carignan gives tannic structure and body.
Beautiful purple color with violet highlights. Aromatic and intense, recalling ripe cherry fruit, tobacco and spices. Both full bodied and well structured with silky tannins and a long spicy finish. A fine example of the vintage.