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M. Chapoutier Cotes du Rhone Belleruche Rouge 2007

Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
  • RP89
  • WS88
0% ABV
  • RP88
  • RP88
  • W&S88
  • WS88
  • RP88
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Winemaker Notes

Michel Chapoutier says that one of the most difficult tasks of a vineyardist and winemaker is to make a serious, high-quality wine, yet have it remain a good value. His "Belleruche" wines accomplish just that. M. Chapoutier Belleruche Blanc is a great introduction to one of the world's most celebrated wine appellations: the Côtes-du-Rhône region.

Garnet red color. Red fruit aromas, mainly Morello cherries. Well-structured, with dark red fruit and pepper notes; sustained tannins.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 89
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The red wine portfolio includes a sleeper of the vintage, the 2007 Cotes du Rhone Belleruche, a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. The finest Cotes du Rhone Chapoutier has yet made, it rivals Guigal’s offering as one of the best negociant Cotes du Rhones produced. Its deep ruby/purple hue is accompanied by aromas of blackberries, cherries, road tar, and earth. Medium-bodied with silky tannins as well as gobs of luscious fruit, it should be enjoyed over the next several years.
WS 88
Wine Spectator
Fleshy and ripe, with blackberry and macerated currant fruit giving way to toast, cedar and licorice hints on the finish. Nice acidity keeps this lively. A super value. Drink now.
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M. Chapoutier

M. Chapoutier

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M. Chapoutier, , France - Rhone
M. Chapoutier
No name is more closely associated with the greatness of the Rhone valley than M. Chapoutier.

The history of the Chapoutier family stretches back to the early nineteenth century when current owner Michel Chapoutier’s great-, great-, great-grandfather Marius purchased an estate and some vineyards in the now famous village of Tain l’Hermitage in the Northern Rhône Valley. Marius Chapoutier made history in the region when he became the first grape grower there to vinify his own fruit. Marius had tasted wines other winemakers produced using his fruit and he realized that something was lost in translation, so to speak. He knew that he owned some of the best growing sites in the appellation and he believed — rightly — that the grapes grown in his vineyards could produce long-lived world-class wines. In a move unusual at the time, he decided that he should make the wine himself. Not only did the quality of the wines increase greatly, but this move provided the capital to expand the Chapoutiers’ already legendary estate.

A visionary and pioneer in biodynamic winemaking, his restless energy and unconditional commitment to quality have produced tremendous success, with the most 90+ point ratings of all Rhône producers and 16 "100 point" rated wines.

Sonoma County

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for nearly every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa, the region only produces about half the amount of wine, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in both quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River and Sonoma Valleys, Carneros, and Fort Ross-Seaview. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

CGM65536_2007 Item# 100149

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