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Domaine Chaume-Arnaud Vinsobres 2011

Rhone Red Blends from Vinsobres, Rhone, France
  • D90
14.5% ABV
  • D90
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Ripe black fruit nose, smooth texture, ripe black fruit and black licorice and light vanilla finish. Great length.
60% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Cinsault, 10% Mourvdre

Critical Acclaim

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D 90
Decanter
Aromatic, tasty, stylish palate, fine acidity: genuine and satisfying.
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Domaine Chaume-Arnaud

Domaine Chaume-Arnaud

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Domaine Chaume-Arnaud, Vinsobres, Rhone, France
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Valérie Chaume-Arnaud always wanted to be a winemaker, and despite the protestations of her mother, she followed her heart and did just that. After studying oenology and viticulture, she took over the 5 hectares of vines belonging to her parents in 1987 and, along with her husband Phillipe, they continued to expand their holdings bit by bit until today where they now own over 30 hectares mainly in the Vinsobres appellation. Their son, Thibault, has joined his parents and is helping to take the property to new heights of excellence. They have been farming their estate organically since 2002 and moved to biodynamic in 2004 where they are now certified. Located about 45 minutes north and west of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vinsobres makes wines of elegance and complexity with more Syrah than is typically found more to the south.

Vinsobres

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One of the more established villages promotoed to its own Côtes du Rhône Villages appellation, Vinsobres produces uniquely styled Rhône blends based on Grenache and Syrah in its relatively cool and elevated vineyards.

Rhône Blends

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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.

Perfect Pairings

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.

Sommelier Secret

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.

DNSDN1084_2011 Item# 135940