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Flat front label of wine

Domaine Grand Nicolet Rasteau 2008

Rhone Red Blends from Rasteau, Rhone, France
  • RP92
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

100% Grenache Noir, from 60 year old vines.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Made from 100% old vine Grenache, the 2008 Cotes du Rhone-Villages Rasteau Vieilles Vignes may compete with its brilliant 2007 counterpart. Its dense inky/purple color is followed by a big, rich nose of chocolate, graphite, black currants, spring flowers, and scorched earth. With full body, sweet tannins, and stunning concentration for a 2008, it should drink well for up to a decade.

90-92 points.

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Domaine Grand Nicolet

Domaine Grand Nicolet

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Domaine Grand Nicolet, Rasteau, Rhone, France
The first ha of the estate was planted in 1875 and the cellar built up in 1926. It was then the first private cellar of Rasteau. The real start in vine growing started in 1930, when Maurice Leyraud (the grandfather of Jean Pierre Wife) decided to plant Grenache and Carignan, instead of cereals and olive trees.

In 1989, jean Pierre started to work in the estate at 24 years of age, and in 1999 he took over management of the entire estate. At that time, he asked a dear old friend of his, Philippe Cambie to help him with his wine business.

Today, Jean Pierre is running a 20 ha estate and annually produces nearly 200hl in Cotes du Rhone and 500 hl in Rasteau. The estate is composed mostly of Grenache, Carignan, Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvedre, on clay and limestone soil. Harvest is destemmed at 100% and vinification takes place in concrete tanks and old french oak barrels.

A highly successful southern Rhone village promoted to Cotes du Rhone Villages status because of its intense and heady red wines, Rasteau is also recognized for its fortified wine, Vin Doux Naturel. Grenache is responsible for both styles. Rasteau also produces refreshing white and rosé table wines.

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.

SGE3185_2008 Item# 108989