I’ve written about Côtes du Rhône before, which you can check out if you need a quick background. So, for this post I’d like to focus more on Grenache, which makes up 60% of the blend in this wine. Grenache is one of the most widely planted varieties in the world, it is grown practically everywhere wine is produced, from northern Spain (where it originated) to Washington State.
Grenache is most often used in blends as it tends to be rather fruity and spicy, yet lacks tannins, acidity, and deep color. It is particularly predominant in blends in the Southern Rhône Valley, from where we get this week’s bottle. As I mentioned earlier, Grenache is thought to have originated in Aragon, which is in modern day northern Spain. Throughout history, however, it was an area that came under the control of various different dynasties, which may point to why Grenache became so popular and widely planted (just a theory). Due to Aragon’s proximity with Southern France Grenache creeped into the Rhône Valley, lending its fruitiness to Côtes du Rhône blends.
The Lavau Côtes du Rhône, 2013, is a lovely example of an entry level bottle. Grenache stars in this blend, taking up 60%, with Syrah the remaining 40%. The nose is fruity with lots of red berry and plum, and a bit of spice. Overall it is a nice medium bodied wine, not too complex as the fruity flavors of the Grenache are prominent, with a hint of earthiness and soft tannins on the finish. You can find this bottle for around $12, and for that price point I would recommend it as a great wine to drink with dinner. It is fairly soft so you can drink it with just about anything, including some nice spicy thai food leftovers.