2010 Delas Freres Cotes-du-Rhone St Esprit Rouge 1.5 L

Year: 2010
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 88
Vinous Media: 88
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.0%
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"The 2010 Cotes du Rhone St.-Esprit is a real winner. It offers lots of Provencal herb notes interwoven with loamy, earthy, peppery, kirsch and black currant characteristics. This medium-bodied, delicious Cotes du Rhone ranks alongside some of the finest of the appellation.

This outstanding firm has done a top rank job under the ownership of the Roederer champagne firm and the general administration of Jacques Granges. They continue to upgrade their southern Rhone selections, which were their weakest link when I first started tasting here over a decade ago. (WA)

"Deep ruby. Shows good complexity on the nose, offering red fruit and floral qualities with pungent olive and herb nuances. Spice-accented raspberry and cherry flavors show good depth and become more energetic with air. Closes on a gently sweet note, with good length and a late kick of cracked pepper." (IWC)

Winery Notes:
The Côtes-du-Rhône Saint-Esprit is made from a blend of 90 percent Syrah and 10 percent Grenache grapes, which come from a small village in the Ardèche region. The vineyard’s southern exposure on steep granite hillsides provides the best growing conditions for the vines. Average production is 450,000 bottles per year.

All the grapes are de-stemmed. Fermentation and maceration take place in closed vats for approximately 15 days. Daily pumping over ensures extraction. Fermentation temperature is controlled and kept between 82°F and 86°F. After de-vatting, pressing and racking, malolactic fermentation is carried out in stainless steel vats. Part of the wine (30%) is aged in oak barrels as to provide a touch of wood in the blend. The remaining is kept in vats to preserve fruit aromas. These wines are racked regularly in order to allow their components to stabilize naturally. The Saint Esprit cuvée is bottled after blending and light filtering.

Tasting Notes:
The Saint-Esprit’s deep color has a dark, plum-like hue. The nose is classical Syrah, with berry fruit, violet, licorice and spices. It has a full, rounded palate with delicate tannins. Saint-Esprit is a unique wine in the Côtes-du-Rhône appellation and can be paired with Provençale-style cuisine, game, stuffings and mixed grills.