Les Dauphins Cellier des Dauphins Reserve Cotes du Rhone 2018
Grown on sunny slopes and harvested at the peak of ripeness, Syrah and Grenache grapes give the wine its deep ruby colour. Extraordinary care during extraction accounts for its unctuous quality and rich mix of sun-baked black fruits. Astute élevage (aging, fining, filtering, and blending) yields a round wine with soft ripe tannins and long finishes.
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The Les Dauphins brand is inspired by the early 1920s, a time when Paris was enjoying a glorious period of post-war decadence known as Les Années Folles (The Crazy Years!). Art, literature, cinema and music were thriving in France’s capital and these creative minds also fell in love with France’s iconic wines.
Les Dauphins is crafted by a network of privately owned vineyards from the Dauphiné region of the Rhône Valley who joined forces to make delicious wines that fueled the creative revolution in bistros across Paris. The Dauphiné supplied countless Parisian restaurants, and became extremely popular thanks to the exuberance and versatility of their wines, which paired beautifully with classic French bistro dishes.
Today, Les Dauphins continues to uphold this legacy of excitement and creativity with their fabulous portfolio of excellent red, white and rosé wines from vineyards in the Southern Rhône. Headed up by talented winemaker Guillaume Valli, Les Dauphins favors those traditional grape varieties that have inspired palates for generations; Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. The result? Beautifully balanced, energetic and fruit-driven wines that are the ultimate accompaniment to quiet evenings in and special occasions alike.
The vineyard owners have also launched eco-friendly initiatives designed to promote sustainable vineyards. The goal is to ensure that their wines are environmentally-sound and economically strong. They work to reduce their environmental footprint both in the vineyard (by meeting government sustainability criteria and earning the label Haute Valeur Environnementale) and by product waste reduction (eco-design, waste water treatment, recycling, solar energy production, etc.).
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.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.