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.
Brézème is a small, and at one point nearly lost, viticulture area located near the town of Livron-sur-Drôme about 18 kilometers south of Valence. Like Hermitage and Crozes-Hermitage, Brézème sits on the eastern side of the Rhône and produces both red and white wine.
Roussanne is an uncommon and difficult varietal that has recently seen a revival in the Northern and Southern Rhône. Roussanne is not as widely planted as other (more common) white varietals because of its tendency to suffer from powdery mildew, uneven yields and late maturity. However, when these problems are overcome Roussanne produces a wonderfully crisp, rich and complex white wine that has the ability to age for decades.
Eric Texier became a winemaker after a prior career and without any background in vines or wines. As such, his methods developed not from years of schooling, but from his readings, his visiting winemakers around the world, and working in Burgundy with Jean-Marie Guffens at Verget. After giving up the idea of buying vineyards, which was too costly a proposition for a beginner with his ambitions, he started a small negoce where he selected interesting vineyard plots from hard-working farmers who grew the healthy grapes he wanted to buy and vinify. He re-discovered nearly forgotten areas of ancient fame, like Breze`me in the northern Cotes-du-Rhone and the new St.-Julien en St.-Alban, a heretofore unknown plot of ancient Syrah vines on the west bank of the Rhone that had been tended by protestant monks and has never seen artificial fertilizers or pesticides.
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.
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