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Domaine de la Berthete Sensation 2009

Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
  • WE90
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Winemaker Notes

A custom Cuvee for Bourgeois Family; a blend of Grenache (50%), Syrah (25%), Carignan (20%), and Cinsault (5%) with 15% of the cuvee aged in French oak barrels for 12 months. With a profile of a baby Chateauneauf-du-Pape it can be served throughout the meal.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
This sensational blend of 50% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 20% Carignan and 5% Cinsault displays knockout aromas of black cherry and cassis alongside asphalt and black olive. It's an intense and compelling mix of fruity and savory, with a long, mouthwatering finish.
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Domaine de la Berthete

Domaine de la Berthete

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Domaine de la Berthete, Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
The Domaine was created in 1950 and has been owned since 1933 by Pascal Maillet and his family. Soon after graduation, Pascal, who majored in computer science, decided to settle in at the domain and make his own wine. He has since then planted new vines, along with the existing vineyards averaging 32 years of age (all traditional varietals from the area, Syrah, Grenache, Carignan and Cinsault), and invested in brand new equipment for the cellar in order to improve the vinification process. The estate practices sustainable farming, and because of the older vines growing on a calcareous clay soil, it yields wines that are highly fruity and aromatic, but also have a strong and tonic backbone.

Cotes du Rhone

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Typically though if as a baby Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the term Cotes du Rhone actually doesn’t merely apply to the flatter outskirts of that and other more major southern Rhone appellations, it also includes the fringes of well-respected northern Rhone 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, Cinsaut, and Counoise, as well as Carignan. White grapes grown include Grenache blanc, Roussanne and Viognier, among others.

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.

VIYXFBOBS0975_2009 Item# 111049