Chateau Courac, Cotes du Rhone, France, 2016

Deep purple coloured with brick tints at the rim. The nose is full of blackberry and spice with notes of violets and a scrape of black pepper. Generous and full on the palate, the finish is elegant and spicy and shows moderate tannins.

Grape Variety: 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 10% Cinsault

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£11.80

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Chateau Courac, Cotes du Rhone, France, 2016

Tasting Note

Deep purple coloured with brick tints at the rim. The nose is full of blackberry and spice with notes of violets and a scrape of black pepper. Generous and full on the palate, the finish is elegant and spicy and shows moderate tannins.

Producer Info

Located a few kilometres to the north-west of Lirac, this 90 hectare vineyard can be traced back 400 years. Frédéric and Josephine Arnaud took over the property in 1995 and immediately set about improving the state of the vineyards and upgrading the winery.

Winemakers Note

Hand harvested, the fruit was de-stemmed and transferred to concrete vats for fermentation. Selected yeasts were used and temperature was maintained at 26- 28C. Maceration lasted 21 days, with regular pumping over. Aged in tank for 12 months prior to bottling.

Background Info

Cotes du Rhone is a region- wide appellation for red, rosé and white wines covering the length and breadth of the Rhone Valley in eastern France. It includes more than 170 villages, following the course of the Rhone river southwards for 125 miles (200km) from Saint-Cyr- sur-le-Rhone to Avignon. A small proportion of the appellation’s wines are white, but the classic Cotes du Rhone wine is a fruity, middleweight red blend generally based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.

The Cotes du Rhone appellation was introduced in November 1937, to provide a catch-all title for good-quality Rhone wines from the valley’s lesser- known and less-prestigious viticultural areas. Although it does not hold the prestige of the Rhone’s more famous names (Chateauneuf, Cote Rotie, Hermitage), the Cotes du Rhone title has risen to become one of France’s most popular and famous wine appellations.

The Rhone Valley climate varies measurably from north to south. The northern Rhone climate is cooler and more continental than the south – influenced more by the Alps than the Mediterranean. As a result, northern Cotes du Rhone wines tend to be slightly more structured and “serious” than those from the south. The Mediterranean-influenced south enjoys a warmer, more stable climate with hot summers and mild winters. This contributes to richer, brighter, higher-alcohol wines.

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