Domaine Catherine Le Goeuil Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2017
Catherine’s vineyards are frequently subject to the forceful mistral, which is known to purify vines of excess moisture when it is not wreaking havoc on her beautiful flower garden. Her vineyards enjoy all the benefits of organic farming: a grassy cover crop in between vineyard rows that provides nutrients and microbiotic growth and well-aerated soils in a typically tough and relatively impermeable sandy molasse. She credits this soil for giving her wines with finesse and approachability, but she deserves credit, too. Brave trailblazing, risk-taking, and persistence in the face of scrutiny have given this creative maverick the fortitude to make delicious, elegant blends year after year.
1/3 Roussanne, 1/3 Grenache Blanc, 1/3 Clairette
Catherine Le Goeuil’s taste for adventure has made her a leading pioneer in Cairanne. In 1993, with little experience and great determination, she and her family bought a six-hectare domaine. Over time, she converted to organic farming, and is now fully certified. In a village with only two others farming organically, her decisions have been met with suspicion and trepidation. Her vineyards enjoy all the benefits of organic farming: grassy cover crop that provides nutrients and well-aerated soils. She credits this soil for giving her wines with finesse and approachability. Bravery, risk-taking, and persistence in the face of scrutiny have given this creative maverick the fortitude to make delicious, elegant blends year after year.
Typically thought of as a baby Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the term Côtes du Rhone 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 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 varieties include most of the Chateauneuf-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.
Full-bodied and flavorful, white Rhône blends originate from France’s Rhône Valley. Today these blends are also becoming popular in other regions. Typically some combination of Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier form the basis of a white Rhône blend with varying degrees of flexibility depending on the exact appellation. Somm Secret—In the Northern Rhône, blends of Marsanne and Roussanne are common but the south retains more variety. Marsanne, Roussanne as well as Bourboulenc, Clairette, Picpoul and Ugni Blanc are typical.