I am thrilled to get back to some serious blogging and the triumphant return of my Wine Wednesday feature on Fork and Vine. However, before I start in on this week's wine I did want allow myself to explain my goal of this feature with you because I don't believe I ever have. Like anyone, I have friends that have varied interests from food to wine to fashion to biking. Or some combination of those things. The point of Wine Wednesdays is to:
- Introduce my none wine friends to a new wine or region that is tasty, affordable (under $25, usually in the $15 range) and will hopefully spark their interest in wine.
- Not to be selfish, but this feature also helps me to study and stay fresh with wine knowledge. After tasting and taking notes I then go and research the producer and region with interesting facts, notable characteristics of region and wines of said region.
- This one directly relates to my first point, but I really do enjoy sharing my knowledge with others and hope this sparks an interest in wine with you. I'm not saying that you need to go crazy breaking the bank or get into it as I am (it is my career). I just hope that you explore the wines or regions I feature and maybe impress your friends or colleagues at your next dinner or soiree!
This is actually not the first time I have covered the Côtes du Rhône on Wine Wednesday before. It is quickly becoming one of my favorite wine regions of the world, especially the Southern Rhône, which is where this beautiful blend comes from, more specifically, Visan.
|Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons|
Domaine Guintrandy is situated at the gateway of the "Enclaves des Papes," which means "Enclave of Popes" because of the Catholic's rich history in Avginon. From 1305-1378 it is where the popes lived, while under the influence of French kings. Catholic influence continued in this area until the French Revolution when they were annexed from the area.
"In 1316 a sickly man, whose reign as Pope one hoped would be short, was chosen by the Cardinals. Pope John XXII surprised them; he died at the age of 89 after 18 years of pontifical reign. All of this, so the story goes, thanks to the excellent wines of the Valreas region. When he had travelled through Valreas he liked the wine so much that in 1317 he purchased the estate of Valreas. Pope Clement VI later added the villages of Visan, Grillon and Richerenches. The Enclave des Papes was born." sourced from Wikipedia.
Without getting to into laws of the area I will just tell you that this wine comes from Côtes du Rhône Villages, which is a stricter area of the Southern Rhône (so it's awesome to find this value wine!). Domaine Guintrandy traces it's roots back to around the year 1000, however the current family that owns the domaine, have since the 1850s so it is now in it's sixth generation! The Village Visan bottling comes from 50 year old vines on the property consisting of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah on rough, calcareous soils.
The 2010 Domaine Guintrandy Vielles Vignes Visan has aromas of cherry, graphite vanilla and cocoa with flavors that echo the same including, black cherry, cracked white pepper with a touch of black licorice and a slight flintiness. This is a great quality wine and a real steal at about $16. It is not meant to cellar too long, but if cellaring I would hold it for the next 3 years, or drink now after decanting. We had this wine with a spicy coppino, but would be quite lovely with barbecue meats, grilled vegetables, stews or pasta with shaved truffles.