2013 Les Vins de Vienne Cotes du Rhône Les Cranilles, France
This wine is the product of the ‘négociant’ activity of the Rhone producer Les Vins de Vienne, meaning unlike many of their other wines, they do not produce grapes for this cuvée, but they select and buy the wines after fermentation from winegrowing partners.
It is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre selected for the freshness and crispiness of their fruit character. Wines were aged for 10 months in concrete vats in the Les Vins de Vienne cellars in Chavanay, Northern Rhone.
The nose is intense and powerful. Rather tight just after pouring but opening up after a while (decant a good half hour or more before serving). The wine has a dark ruby color, and delivers plenty of dark food aromas as well: cocoa, tyre (that dissipates quickly with aeration), clove, blackberry, and black pepper.
The palate bursts with spices and red/black berry fruit flavors. A touch of animal character provides some complexity. It’s aromatically rich and intense, complex array of flavors coated in caramelly background. A lot of granulated tannins dry the taste buds, while the wine’s background is actually quite smooth. A few years of ageing should precipitate those big tannins, and leave the dense smooth tannins outshine them.
A very good, complex and rich Cotes du Rhone. Well made with ripe fruit.
When to Drink?
Give it two years to soften up and get further complexity and depth. But don’t age for too long (5 years max I would say) or it may lose too much of its enjoyable fruit personality. So drink between 2017 and 2020.
Food & Wine Pairing
Match with tasty meats, grilled, barbecues, or rich flavorsome stews. Perfect wine for grilled or braised rich meats cooked with plenty of herbs to marry the wine’s spices while the drying tannins would cut through the fat.