At a recent family reunion, Kermit and I poured our guests Perrusset’s humble Mâcon-Villages before moving on to a 2002 premier cru Chablis from Domaine Raveneau. The next day, a relative—who enjoys the occasional glass of wine but is more of a beer drinker—reached out to order a few bottles. “Got any more of that Chablis?” he wrote. “And I’ll take a couple bottles of that other Chardonnay, too.” I replied that, sadly, we had sold out of the former fifteen years ago, but I’d gladly send him some Mâcon—which, by the way, costs less per case than the Raveneau does per bottle. The experience perfectly summarized Perrusset’s knack for crafting all-purpose, crowd-pleasing Chardonnays at a good price. No oak; generous citrus and stone fruit on the palate; a clean, minerally finish—what more could one ask for in a white wine?
Our house Côtes du Rhône is an unfiltered Grenache-based blend we select each year from a cave co-op outside of Avignon. The winemaker works closely with numerous small vignerons and purchases their grapes, sourcing from a variety of nearby terroirs to give a quintessential rendition of a southern Rhône red. Much of the fruit comes from the neighboring town of Châteauneuf-de-Gadagne—one of the twenty communes permitted to append its name to the Côtes du Rhône Villages appellation—whose stony, alluvial soils are similar to those of a much better-known Châteauneuf not far away. Our annual blending consists of tasting samples from roughly two dozen different tanks, with the goal of capturing classic Rhône flavors in a versatile and approachable bargain red. In the newly arrived 2017, you’ll find rich, juicy aromas of ripe dark fruit, spicy flavors of licorice and wild herbs, and chewy tannins that leave your palate replete with impressions of thyme, black cherry, and stone. We are always impressed by how delicious this little wine is when we taste it at the cave each year; we hope you’ll feel the same upon uncorking a bottle at home.
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