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A Brand-New Value Red

by Anthony Lynch

Tolmer Label
Tolmer Label

Here it is: the very first edition of an exciting southern Rhône red! Our brand-new Côtes du Rhône Villages is a collaboration with Les Vignerons d’Estézargues, a co-op cellar located just across the river from Avignon. Founded in 1965, Estézargues has championed sustainable and organic viticulture and natural winemaking for decades, making it a rare exception in the world of co-ops. They work closely with their growers, emphasizing organic farming, and manage their cellar with a judicious use of low-intervention techniques: nothing is inoculated, sulfur is kept to a bare minimum, and the wines are bottled without filtration.
   Our cuvée is sourced from gobelet-trained vines on the nearby plateau of Signargues, which features the same rocky alluvial soils as Châteauneuf-du-Pape, just across the Rhône. The endless expanse of galets roulés (polished riverbed stones) that litter the ground is the ideal terroir for producing wines of great character and typicity in this iconic sun-baked region. We aimed for maximum drinkability in our blend, and accordingly, you’ll find plenty of hedonistic, purple-tinged fruit in this wine, along with a hint of wild herbs and lovely floral notes akin to lavender and violets. A touch of supple tannin and a stony finish provide texture and just enough grit to this smooth-flowing rouge. It is a plump, yet delightfully juicy Rhône red that can be sipped casually with a slight chill as an apéritif or on movie night, but has enough weight to stand up to burgers, pizza, grilled meats, or anything else you might throw its way.
   The label, designed by celebrated French artist Michel Tolmer, hints at our bottling’s playful balance, and travelers might recognize the likeness of the nearby Pont du Gard and Mont Ventoux. The pleasure and typicity on offer are the direct result of pristine, organically farmed fruit—mostly Grenache—ripened by Mediterranean sun, ushered along in the cellar with minimal intervention. With great bargains in wine becoming increasingly rare, we are excited to have found you one that is made with the same precision, care, and diligence as our favorite domaine bottlings.

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