Wine Geek Recommended
Meet the CoolVines Wine Geek! He’ll guide you toward – or away from! – wines that have a unique flavor profile: intentionally oxidized wines, earthy, stinky wines, wines with a bit of fritz on the tongue. Look for him throughout our web site, and on the shelves in our stores, to point the way toward these geeky wines.
Domaine Jean-Louis Chave is a family owned winery, passed from father to son since 1481. Currently, the Domaine is under the direction of Jean-Louis, although his father, Gerard, is still around – keeping a watchful eye. The wines of the Chave family are generally recognized as among the best, if not the very best, of the Rhone valley.
To ensure quality, Jean-Louis works with growers who share his devotion to quality, practice organic farming and the preservation of terroir in the finished wines. For Mon Coeur, as with all of his negociant wines, the grapes are taken to the Domaine for aging and finishing so that Jean-Louis has control over the final product.
His goal for the top level Mon Coeur, his Cotes du Rhone blend, is single-minded: produce a wine that is authentic and represents the best of the appellation and the grape. This is a delicious wine that represents very good value for the appellation.
February 2013 Wine Club Selection
Chave owns vines in 9 of the 18 vineyards that cover the Hermitage hillside. Keenly aware of the different dynamics fruit from different parcels can have, Jean-Louis pays close attention to the terroir-influences when selecting fruit for this, his top cuvee. He uses little to no oak on his wines, believing that the innate character of the fruit is what makes a truly great wine. In this vein, he intervenes with filtering or fining minimally, if at all.
While famous wine regions like Chateauneuf du Pape, Vacqueyras and Gigondas are fun to say, almost 75% of wine production in the Southern Rhone is labeled Cotes du Rhone, an expansive sets of vineyards to the south. Extremely reasonable in price, the region is best known for smaller producers making sensational wines. Different from their Nothern Rhone cousins of Hermitage and Cote Rotie, the vineyards in Cotes du Rhone are part of the sunny, herb scented, lavender strewn, olive growing Mediterranean. Brutally hot days are contrasted with the cold mistral winds blowing from the Alps down the Rhone Valley. These winds concentrate the sugar and acid in the grapes while cooling down the vines and protecting against humidity and mold. The end results are generally full bodied wines full of power and finesse.