2016 Domaine de Fondreche
Rhone Valley, FR
Regular price $24.99
Sale Price $19.99
Have I not mentioned this wine?
Damn…I’ve been remiss!
So here’s the thing…historically, the southern Rhone valley didn’t make big, ripe, voluptuous wines; rather the wines were balanced with very attractive red berry flavors, herbal and savory notes and abundant acidity. They were beautiful, fresh and fragrant, delightful wines for pleasant consumption with meals. Then, the wine press started extolling the virtues of excessive ripeness and the wineries found than if they made their wines less interesting, more people would buy them. What a world, eh?
However, some producers always made ‘big’ wines, largely because their vineyards were in locations that enjoyed bright sunshine, yet cool temperatures, so the grapes ripened slowly and thoroughly. Picked when ripe, yet not over-ripe, the resulting wines were full and rich but not overly alcoholic or syrupy. Little or no oak aging was used, as there was no need to add tannins back into the wines, since natural acidity remained. The fruit perhaps overshadowed the herbs, but overall, the wines were fresh rather than jammy and crisp rather than ‘hot’. Like this wine.
So, really, this is a wine that walks the line…it has enough fruit and weight to satisfy those that like sweet California reds, but enough acidity and secondary flavors for those that like good wine.