I like Rhône wines. Drinking them often feels like bumping into an old friend you haven’t seen for a long time. There is that certitude that old friend is gonna tell you some anecdotes from past adventures. The same kind of reliability applies to Rhône wines…when you pop open a bottle; chances are it still has those anecdotes from back in the days inside. It has a tendency to keep this youthful fire for ages, together with luscious fruit if you’re lucky and at the same time it often shows a nice classic structure, opposed to the jam-like-modern-Ribera-kind-of structure.
But why am I digressing so much into pathetic subjectiveness? Well, maybe I just had that one bottle that once and for all cemented my opinion on Côtes Du Rhône. It was an 8 year old bottle of Rasteau, which is one of the areas classified as Côtes Du Rhône Village within the AOC system. And this wine by Domaine Du Trapadis not only struck me with its depth and complexity but above all with its delicious fruit – I never had a Côtes Du Rhône that age which was still reflecting so much of its youth.
It started with a beautiful dark color. Then an intense nose full of fruit with cherries, raspberries and blackberries followed: smelling alone would have been satisfying enough, but the glass of course automatically wanders to the mouth (taking much longer than usual though…). The palate isn’t less interesting. It is again full of fruit, but also accompanied by tart notes reminding juniper. And all is embedded in a very nice structure defined by fine grained (not yet fully mellowed) tannins making it a wine you could bite into or chew on. The rather high alcohol content never takes the lead here btw. Cherries, Plums, some vanilla, the already mentioned juniper, plus maybe something reminding black ink are calling the tune on the palate. The finish is beautifully long, despite a slight bitter tone joining the lineup. The tannins appear to dry out the palate a little in the finish, 2 or 3 more years of cellaring would do no harm here. After some more aeration, the nose gets just more complex; herbs and leather are seizable whilst blackberries are becoming the dominant fruit in the mix. The finish also develops into a more complex liquorice-kind of flavor.
Extreme pleasure also emanates from the last poured glass. The bottle deposit gives it the viscosity of fruit puree. This might not be drinkable, but the perfume is indescribably intense of forest berries. 92 points. Thank you Steffen for this wonderful bottle.