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Chateau de Casenove La Garrigue 2009

Rhone Red Blends from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
  • RP92
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Despite the lack of rain in recent years this variety has produced softer, more elegant tannins. This wine can of course be served with grilled steaks or roasts, but can also be served with more complex dishes such as: grilled duck breasts, rack of lamb, or game. It also pairs well with many Mediterranean vegetables such as: eggplant, red and green peppers, zucchini as well as many different spices.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The stunning 2009 La Garrigue (40% Carignan, 40% Syrah and 20% Grenache aged 7 months in tank) is a terrific example of how much wine one can buy for under $20 a bottle. An opaque ruby/purple color is followed by notes of cassis, blackberries, lavender, licorice, pepper and garrigue. Full-bodied, rich and heady, this beauty is capable of drinking well for 5-6 more years. However, as with most of these wines, what’s the point of waiting?
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Chateau de Casenove

Chateau de Casenove

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Chateau de Casenove, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
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Château la Casenove, situated just outside the village of Trouillas, is run by Etienne Montès. Etienne was a photographer by trade, but took full control of the families vines in 1994, and has since enjoyed success, no doubt bolstered by oenological advice from consultant Jean Luc Colombo. The varieties planted are a mix of traditional Languedoc-Roussillon (Maccabeu, Carignan, Grenache) with some Catalan influences (Muscat, Malvoisie) and some improving varieties (Syrah and Mourvèdre), the latter being planted in 1967 by Etienne's father Jacques, the first in the region to do so. Another recent addition is some Roussanne.


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An extensive appellation producing a diverse selection of good-quality and value-priced wines, Languedoc-Roussillon is one of the world’s largest wine-producing region, spanning the Mediterranean coast from the Spanish border to Rhône. Languedoc forms the eastern half of the larger appellation, while Roussillon is in the west; the two actually have quite distinct personalities but are typically grouped together. Languedoc’s terrain is generally flat coastal plains, with a warm Mediterranean climate and a frequent risk of drought. Roussillon, on the other hand, is defined by the rugged Pyrenees mountains and near-constant sunshine.

Virtually every style of wine is made in this expansive region. Dry wines are often blends, and varietal choice is strongly influenced by the neighboring Rhône Valley. For reds and rosés, the primary grapes include Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, and Mourvèdre. White varieties include Grenache Blanc, Muscat, Ugni Blanc, Vermentino, Maccabéo, Clairette, Piquepoul and Bourbelenc.

International varieties are also planted in large numbers here, in particular Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In Roussillon, excellent sweet wines are made from Muscat and Grenache in Rivesaltes, Banyuls and Maury. The key region for sparkling wines here is Limoux, where Blanquette de Limoux is believed to have been the first sparkling wine made in France, even before Champagne. Crémant de Limoux is produced in a more modern style.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.

STC343372_2009 Item# 131210