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Dauvergne Ranvier Luberon Vin Gourmand Rouge 2013
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
When one asks how it all began, François Dauvergne most often responds that “his roots are half in Bordeaux where he grew up and half in the soils of Saint-Polycarpe, next to Limoux, where his family had vines”. He then branched out to the Rhône Valley where he has been for the past 15 years of his career in wine.
As a child, Jean-François Ranvier made his parents blush more than once. In fact, when invited to family friends homes for dinner, little Jean-François couldn’t stop himself from breathing in the aromas in the house and detailing them out load…no matter the quality of the menu. Amateur geologist, he finally chose enology after having earned an agronomist degree. After having directed an enology lab he then took over vinification for a major negociant house in the Rhône Valley. It was here that he would meet and work with François Dauvergne.
In 2004 Dauvergne and Ranvier would leave together to live their dream of creating their own wines, thus making their winery one of the most recognized in the Rhône Valley.
A cooler region precisely between Ventoux and Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence, Cotes du Luberon is a source of full-bodied rosés and crisp, herb-driven reds and whites.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.
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, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.
Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.
Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red 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, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.