Château de Fonsalette, from Château Rayas, the great Châteauneuf producer, shows just what can be accomplished with very low yields and meticulous winemaking. This "basic" cuvée is always extraordinary and can age 20+ years. Château de Fonsalette is a separate estate from Rayas, not a second label. The Fonsalette vineyards are located about 18 miles north of Rayas towards Orange, Carianne and Rasteau. These wines are made at Château Rayas, however, in the same manner as Rayas and Pignan.
Grenache 50%, Cinsault 35%, Syrah 15%
"The 2005 Fonsalette Cotes du Rhone is a blockbuster. This blend of 50% Grenache, 35% Cinsault, and 15% Syrah has a dark ruby/purple color and a beautifully structured style with notes of black truffle, licorice, black currant, and sweet cherry intermixed with some crushed rock and flowers. The wine is beautifully broad, savory, and exceptionally well-delineated and focused. This is a magnificent wine that should be at its best between 2010 and 2025."
The Wine Advocate
"Medium red. Spicy cherry and blackcurrant on the nose, with deeper licorice and tobacco adding power. Fresher red berry flavors show impressive minerality. Finishes with silky tannins, gentle grip and an echo of sweet red berries. This has very good balance and focus. "
International Wine Cellar
"Rich, with a really enticing streak of mesquite and incense weaving through the dark currant, tapenade, braised beef and melted licorice notes. This long, minerally finish shows a hint of shiso leaf. Should cellar well. Drink now through 2011"