The southern Rhône is to wine what “comfort food” is to cooking—warm, inviting, fulfilling, and nostalgic. Many of us, myself included, had our first “Eureka!” wine-moments around a glass of a hearty Grenache-based blend, seemingly overflowing with flavors of ripe fruit, sun-drenched herbs, and even the sounds of chirping cicadas, if you allowed your mind to wander a bit. While dishes of foraged moss on edible tree bark, or molecularly deconstructed goji berries in smoke rings can certainly be exciting, sometimes it’s nice to find yourself in front of a heaping portion of your grandmother’s classic lasagna. Dig in, everyone, there is nothing not to like here.
Pigeoulet is everything its oddly melodious name implies: exuberant, approachable, fun. At table, it is versatile and generous, with abundant aromas of blackberries, herbs, and licorice that can complement a wide range of epicurean delights. The life of the party at any cookout, picnic, or potluck.
A bit of the Vaucluse’s powerful mistral seems caught up in this bottle, with a potent rush of dry Provençal garrigue on the nose. Contrary to many big, broad-shouldered Rhône wines, however, Catherine’s cru Cairanne has softened with age. Subtle tannins on the palate are like a charming whisper to balance the initial shout.
Télégramme, the so-called second wine of Vieux Télégraphe, could in some ways be called the first: while your bottle of VT is aging in the cellar, its tannins relaxing and its earthy structure developing, your bottle of Télégramme, with all its youthful vim and vigor, is ready to be opened now. It offers a fresh and floral nose, a silky, elegant palate, and such perfect balance that it doesn’t even need a food pairing.
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