Lovely purple and blue fruits, with sweet spice and tobacco notes, followed by a gravelly hint on the finish.
The name Mont Thabor was given to the Chateau by a mystic monk, Don Pernety, who was a founder of a Catholic cult and a seeker after the magical "philosopher's stone'. He had brought from Israel's holy Mont Thabor a seedling tree. Once planted, he chose to name the Chateau Mont Thabor. After the agitations of the French Revolution, it all passed from the Church into private hands. In 1840 a certain Mr. Poulain acquired the property and transformed it into a "Relais de Poste'" where the stagecoaches carrying mail and the carriages bearing private citizens could stop for the night to rest. The eccentric and romantic Mr. Poulain was buried on the property and the heart of his mistress was placed in his casket. We presume that his passing was due to the grief caused by the death of his lover.
Typically thought of as a baby Chateâuneuf-du-Pape, the term Côtes du Rhône actually doesn’t merely apply to the flatter outskirts of the major southern Rhône appellations, it also includes the fringes of well-respected northern Rhône appellations. White wines can be produced under the appellation name, but very little is actually made.
The region offers some of the best values in France and even some first-rate and age-worthy reds. Red wine varieties include most of the Chateâuneuf-du-Pape varieties like Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, and Counoise, as well as Carignan. White grapes grown include Grenache blanc, Roussanne and Viognier, among others.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.