2004/1998 Fonsalette Cotes du Rhone
At some point in the past couple of years i convinced myself that i didn’t like grenache, or grenache based wines (although i think the word “grenache” is a beautifully unpretentious name for a grape). How this happened is beyond me, because, as it turns out i rather like grenache when done right (unlike sauvignon blanc which i really don’t care for much at all). Now far from being an unfortunate situation wherein i never try any grenache because of my bias, it is quite rewarding. Everytime i try good grenache i’m amazed i like it at all (“i usually don’t care for grenache, but this is good!”), and as everyone knows, it is better to be a surprised pessimist rather than a blasé optimist (something similiar happened in college when i convinced myself that i didn’t like Henry James for four years. Imagine reading the Golden Bowl with the mindset you’re going to hate it. Mindblowing.)
So if any amateur psychologists want to chime in on why i would do this to myself, please feel free, otherwise let’s get to the wine.
As you probably know, Chateau de Fonsalette is the second label for the much revered Chateau Rayas (they also make a third wine, Domaine des Tours. How they produce such quality with all their wines is a testament to, well i guess the winemaking). Fonsalette, which is half grenache with cinsault and syrah blended into it, is a strikingly feminine wine, especially for those who have it in mind that Rhone is synonymous with bruising high alcohol messes. To use an overused word the wine is “silky” (especially the ’98 which had very light dusty tannins). The grenache spice was there, as was the syrah savory gameyness, but there was no overwhelming flavor component in either wine. Both wines had a thread of saline minerality running right through the center to put everything in order on both the fruit and savory sides.
So i guess i will continue distrusting grenache for just such wines. Seems more pleasurable that way.
Notes: I like doing notes. I will be doing more in the future.
I met Hardy Wallace of Dirty South Wine Fame. He was rocking a sweet ‘stache and is a genuinely nice guy.
Terroir, my employer, will close for a month beginning monday October 5th to repair flood damage. I am going to drive to Seattle and maybe fly to New York in the meantime. Any suggestions, or if anyone wants to meet up, hit me up.
The Cupcake Belt was born on Saturday.
What to eat: Lamb with blue cheese and olives and tomatoes.
What to listen to: The XX