Chapoutier & Rhone Valley, Southern France.
During my wine travels around France, a definite stop was to Southern France, with many visits along the winding Rhone River, to the Northern and Southern Rhone, through Hermitage, the Languedoc-Roussillon region and the Provence region, where nearby the ever popular Châteauneuf-du-Pape is found.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape is actually a blend of grape varieties from the area, originally 13 different varieties, and now up to 18 different grape varieties to make this exquisite type of wine. While in Hermitage, a spectacular tasting experience tour and private lunch was had at another fantastic, well-known sweetheart producer, Chapoutier.
The vines were just awakening from their sleep and tender care was most important to kick start what would eventually become a hearty, thriving, fruit bearing, bountiful crop. Chapoutier has many different branded vintages and wine blends offered…Way too many to taste. However, prior to a beautiful luncheon at the Chapoutier restaurant, we toured the estate and the high hilly slopes to see the vines up close and learn the intricacies of growing and harvesting vines on such steep mountainsides. Much of the cultivation and harvest is old school because of the steep terrain.
The Chapoutier wines boast such rich flavours. Deep succulent textured reds, with warm finishes, nutty and herbed nuances. It’s a family operation with a rich history of hard work and tenacity over many years producing some of the Rhone's best and beautiful wines.
Spectacular vintages have been acquired from the Southern France region and specifically the Rhone region. White Viogniers and Roses with brilliant nuances of minerality, saline or sea spray, hint of smoke, floral notes, and summer fruits with oily textures, yet fresh and clean. The Reds are a blend of Grenache and Syrah with black currants and berries, dark fruits, smoke and herbal notes.