Dauvergne Ranvier Luberon Vin Gourmand Rouge 2013
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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.
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.
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.
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.