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Flat front label of wine

M. Chapoutier Cotes du Rhone Belleruche Rouge 2009

Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
  • RP89
  • WE89
14% ABV
  • WW90
  • RP88
  • RP88
  • WS88
  • RP88
  • W&S88
  • RP89
  • WS88
  • WS88
  • W&S90
  • WE90
  • WS88
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Garnet red. Red fruit aromas, mainly Morello cherries. Aromas of red fruits (mainly morello cherries) and spices (licorice, grey pepper).

Critical Acclaim

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RP 89
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Even better, and a real sleeper of the vintage, is the 2009 Cotes du Rhone Belleruche red. Dominated by 80% Grenache, with the rest Syrah and Mourvedre, this wine has a deep ruby/purple-tinged color to the rim, a big, spicy, peppery, kirsch-scented nose, and medium-bodied, juicy flavors, with intriguing minerality and loads of fruit and texture. This is a very serious Cotes du Rhone that should drink nicely for 3-4 years. (To Chapoutier’s credit, this is made completely from contracted biodynamically farmed vineyards, as opposed to buying fermented juice from growers.)
WE 89
Wine Enthusiast
Chapoutier's Belleruche red succeeds admirably in 2009, marrying superripe black cherries with hints of chocolate and cedar in this mouthfilling, richly textured wine. Drink it over the next few years.
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M. Chapoutier

M. Chapoutier

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M. Chapoutier, Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
Image of winery
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.

Cotes du Rhone

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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.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.

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 is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône 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 make an appearance.

SWS62166_2009 Item# 110004