Paroles de vignerons - Vinparleur - Winzer talk

#RASTEAU - THE BIG FRIENDLY GIANT OF THE SOUTH #RHÔNE #WINE

16 January 2015, by Sebastian Nickel

“A Cru of generous spirit” that is what RASTEAU says of RASTEAU. At least since 2010, the year of birth of this 8th Cru of the southern Rhone Valley (“Cru” being the highest classification of an AOC in the Rhône), previously classified as Côtes du Rhône Villages. GRENACHE reigns in RASTEAU (assisted by SYRAH and MOURVÈDRE, but also by the “little helpers” like CARIGNAN, COUNOISE, and many others), laying the foundation for sumptuous dry red wines, as well as seductive and intriguing natural sweet wines.

Rasteau

Located north of the Ouvèze between 120 and 360 meters above sea level, the area of RASTEAU presents a fine diversity of soils. From top to bottom, you’ll meet marl, sand and Safres (a special type of sandy soils), as well as ancient alluvial terraces. A beautiful terroir, mainly facing towards the south and the sun, but tempered by the cool Mistral winds.

What I like in “RASTEAU” wines? Their power. That’s the first thing that comes to my mind. An ambivalent word, because often, but not necessarily, translated as “rich in alcohol.” Of course, most of the wines of the appellation perfectly match to the cooler seasons of fall and winter, but “minerality” and “freshness” are indeed also part of the tasting vocabulary of RASTEAU. Mentioning “power”, I’m more talking about the general power of the wines, their presence both in the nose and on the palate. Round and fat mouth feel, sometimes with impressive tannins, a powerful bouquet, full of fruit and herbs in youth, becoming rather spicy, with ripe fruits and tobacco after a few years of aging.

What’s certain, is that RASTEAU produces wines of strong, genuine Mediterranean character on some 950 hectares of vines. I never deprive myself of wines from RASTEAU and I have found them a nice spot in my cellar over the years...

Rasteau Domaine Santa Duc

RASTEAU “LES BLOVAC” FROM DOMAINE SANTA DUC
Origine : Old vines planted in the area known as “Les Blovac” in Rasteau. South facing hillsides of clay, sand and stony soil.
Grape varieties : Grenache 70 %, Syrah 15 %, Mourvèdre 15 %.
Vinification : Harvesting by hand and stalks partially removed, a long fermentation, controlled temperatures and gentle extraction.
Ageing : On lees in vats with a small dose of sulphur (SO2). Bottling without filtration.



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