Simon's Staff Pick for Winter 2022
2019 Domaine Charvin Côtes-du-Rhône
Rhône Valley, France
Founded in 1851, Domaine Charvin sold their grapes in bulk to negociants for about 140 years. In 1990 Laurent Charvin began to manage the estate. That was the first year they produced, bottled, and sold their own wine. When Laurent took over managing the domaine, they had about 4 hectares of vines. Today, they have twice that amount of vineyard land cultivated with vines in Chateauneuf du Pape and 12 more hectares in Côtes-du-Rhône appellation. Their vineyards have a sandy, clay-limestone and some galet stones soils terroir. On average, their vines are close to 50 years of age.
Domaine Charvin only makes two red wines: one Châteauneuf-du-Pape and one Côtes-du-Rhône. While many producers make special cuvees, Charvin doesn’t as they believe that would take away from their main wine. Winemaking is traditional with no de-stemming and all ageing is done in cement tanks; no wood is used for the elevage. The wines are fined and unfiltered. The Côtes du Rhône is often viewed as a “baby Châteauneuf” and is regularly cited as one of the best of the appellation. It is not surprising as their vineyards bordered Châteauneuf du Pape, and the wine is being made with the same attention to detail used for the estate’s top wine.
I like to open this wine in the late morning and let it slowly aerate in the bottle over the next 7 hours until dinner is ready, but you can decant it for 1-2 hours if you prefer. I tend to put it in the fridge 15-30 minutes before serving to get a slight chill on it. Dense, bright and inviting, the wine reveals accents of red fruits, flowers and spices as it opens up. With 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah and equal part Carignan and Mourvèdre and at 14,5% ABV it would be easy to qualify this as another big bold red wine. However, this Côtes-du-Rhône has immense finesse, and the acidity brings everything together while the tannins add a little more structure to the long finish. The perfect wine with braised red meat or with a beetroot and red onion tarte tatin.
I think it is one of the best “value for your money” wines in the store so make sure to grab one (or more) bottle on your next visit to Bricks Wine Company.
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