Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Camille Cayran Gemellus Rasteau 2006

I will start this one with full disclosure. The Rhone Valley has become one of my favorite places in the world for red wine, and I especially love the wines of the Southern Rhone. The Southern Rhone is filled with incredible but relatively expensive choices in some of the better know village level wines, the best known of which is Chatueauneuf du Pape. This village just sounds like a place that would have expensive wine doesn't it? Well, it certainly does have some expensive wines, but many of them are well worth the money and believe it or not some of them in the $50 to $100 price range compare very favorably to much more expensive wines from other parts of France and the rest of the world.

For this post though, we are looking at a wine from the nearby village of Rasteau. Rasteau is one of a couple village appelations that are close to but not as well known as Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Since it is not as well known, Rasteau can be a great source of high quality wine with great value for the money, and I am always on the lookout for great values for my cellar. Like Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rasteau will allow a number of different red wine grapes, but the predominant grape is typically Grenache with Syrah and Mourvedre being the most common blending grapes added to the mix.

The 2006 Camille Cayran Gemellus Rasteau is composed of 70% Grenache, 25% Syrah, and 5% Mourvedre. In your glass you get a beatiful deep ruby-purple color. The nose is filled with intense berry aromas that include blackberry, black rasberry, and blueberry as well as a touch of spice with an herbal element. In your mouth you get a medium-full bodied wine with wonderful berry fruit and a little bit of spice and some very pleasant and just a little bit dusty tannins. Very nice acidity rounds out the structure.

At a price point of about $15 this is a very nice, well balanced wine that drinks like it shoud be almost twice the price. I also wouldn't be surprised if this continued to improve if you laid it down for another year or two.

I had this last night with a sauteed chicken dish with a portobello mushroom and roasted red pepper sauce. Although this wine would be a little intense for many other chicken dishes, it worked beautifully with the portobello mushrooms and roasted peppers. It would also pair well with just about any grilled red meat or a nice beef stew or pot roast.


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