Domaine des Escaravailles 'La Ponce' Rasteau 2018

Domaine des Escaravailles 'La Ponce' Rasteau 2018
£21.50 / bottle£245.10 / case (12 bottles)

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Country: France
Grape variety: Grenache
Grape variety: Shiraz / Syrah
Wine style: Rich Spicy Red
Wine Type: Red Wine
Wine region: Rhône
Drink: Now to 2025
ABV: 15.5%

Tasting Notes

The 2018 vintage is back in stock!

Considered one of the more successful Côtes du Rhône villages in the region, still red wine from Rasteau stepped up from a Côtes du Rhône Villages appellation to its own Rasteau appellation in 2010. This wine is a typical Rhône blend of Grenache and Syrah or Shiraz, in this instance 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah.  If you are a fan of good Châteauneuf-du-Pape, you will love this wine.

Escaravailles is the name for beetles in the local dialect, Occitan, hence the beetle on the label and on the cork of this bottle; it is also said to be a nickname for black-robed monks that used to tend the vineyards in days gone by.   This small winery, in the same family since 1953, is situated high up in the Rasteau region; its Grenache vines are c. 60 years old and its Syrah vines c. 35 years old.  The ageing vines help add to the intensity and complexity of flavours.

Grenache, which must be a minimum 50% of the blend, provides structure and aromatic wines that are generous and fuller-bodied; it grows well in Rasteau with its exposed hillsides and dry, barren land. Syrah contributes intense colour, elegance and notes of black fruits, violet and spices. Read about the Rhône crus and other appellations in my Rhône red wines blogpost.

This smells divine; blueberry, blackcurrant and blackberry with a hint of floral - violets? - the hints of chocolate and Rhône-typical herbs are more evident on tasting though still hints as it is the fruits that dominate the palate -  blackberry, blueberries and strawberries. 2018 was the fourth hot vintage in a row and you can tell from the 'warmth' of the wine and the high-ish alcohol. But don’t let that put you off as the alcohol is really well balanced with the fruits and fresh acidity and the wine (perhaps unexpectedly) elegant, with muted and soft tannins.  There is a long, complex finish; this is a superb Rhône wine, no wonder it's a customer favourite!

Food Pairing

Some previous vintages have needed food but this can be enjoyed on its own. Or drink it with chicken, turkey, red meats (grilled, roasted or barbecued), game etc.  Avoid serving it with very spicy foods as that could clash with its own spicy characteristics

Producer's Notes

"The flowers of the domaine. Nice red cherries with violet notes. There is an elegant nose of black fruit jam and leather. The wine is full-bodied, structured and pleasant, with a sweetness associated with ripe black fruits with spices."

A lovely perfumed wine - black fruits & blueberries with floral hints. On the palate ripe sweet fruits dominate but there is so much going on including hints of chocolate and Rhône-typical herbs. This is a complex medium-bodied wine with a certain elegance.

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