Domaine Chamfort’s 2015 Côtes-du-Rhône is a traditional blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Cinsault from the village of Sablet. Born during the finest vintage in the Rhône Valley since 2010, the 2015 Chamfort Côtes-du-Rhône earned a highly coveted spot on the Recommended List from Wine Spectator. Sporting a brilliant deep ruby robe with flashes of violet, this aromatic, juicy wine reminds us of the finest Côtes-du-Rhônes of yesteryear. This tasty red is bright and perky with a nice dash of peppery fruit to complement an enticing bouquet of red fruits, wild berries and violets. All of this reflects Vasco Perdigao’s penchant for organic viticulture and a preference for minimal intervention in winemaking – the very calling cards of the Southern Rhône for centuries. We suggest affording the delicious 2015 Chamfort Côtes-du-Rhône at least 15-20 minutes of aeration before serving to allow the wine to fully express itself. And as with most fine Rhône reds, a cool serving temperature (57º-62º F) will enhance this wine’s juicy vinous charm.
Lamb, game birds, pasta, pizzas, and heady vegetable dishes are the traditional accompaniments to Côtes-du-Rhône reds, and the 2015 Domaine Chamfort Côtes-du-Rhône provides an ideal foil for such dishes as well as the gustatory bounty one encounters throughout Provence and the Southern Rhône. One of Côtes-du-Rhône’s many attributes is its versatility at table. It can hold court with grand cuisine or lend credence to almost any ordinary mid-week meal. The ability of the 2015 Domaine Chamfort Côtes-du-Rhône to render simple peasant foods and casual mid week meals fit for royalty provides testimony to its quality as well as it versatility. Lasagne, Pasta Arrabiata, spiral sliced ham, homemade potato salad, and a large multi-green salad served with crusty French bread and hunks of hard cheese, all make for a banquet in the company of Chamfort’s excellent 2015 Côtes-du-Rhône. Split pea or lentil soup, ratatouilles and most tomato-based dishes make great accompaniments to this wine, too. And let’s not forget the delight a thin-crusted three cheese pizza can bring to the table, the type of pizza one encounters in Provence, and for which red Côtes-du-Rhône possesses a natural affinity. Bon appétit!
What could be finer than a glass or two of Chamfort’s delicious 2015 Côtes-du-Rhône? How about Chamfort’s delicious 2015 Côtes-du-Rhône paired with the world’s finest cheeses? The juicy, vinous qualities of this wine make ideal partners for many Provençal, French, Italian, and Spanish cheeses. The most exquisite Chèvre, Port Salut and St. Paulin from France, Fontina from Italy, and Manchego from Spain are just some of the superb cheese selections to savor with Chamfort’s 2015 Côtes-du-Rhône. For more outstanding cheese accompaniments or to obtain information on expertly selected international cheeses, please visit our Gourmet Cheese of the Month Club website at www.cheesemonthclub.com. Why settle for only one of life’s pleasures when you can have two?
Domaine Chamfort lies at the foot of the last outcropping of the Alps, known as the Dentelles de Montmirail. It extends over 21 hectares (approximately 52 acres) spread over three of the southern Rhône’s most illustrious wine villages: Vacqueyras, Rasteau, and Sablet. Although an established producer in the region for decades, the acquisition of Domaine Chamfort in March 2010 by Vasco Perdigao and his wife Sonia has set a new course for this property.
A young and passionate winemaker, Vasco has moved the property to sustainable viticulture and is transitioning Domaine Chamfort’s vineyards to all-organic agriculture. By all accounts, Vasco Perdigao is a high energy guy who appears fanatically bent on producing exceptional wine from his vineyards in all three of the villages where he tends vines. Vacqueyras is Perdigao’s flagship wine, a deeply colored forceful Vacqueyras that can hold its own among many more illustrious names from nearby Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but Perdigao’s Côtes-du-Rhône, Rasteau, Sablet and Séguret offerings are equally impressive in their own right. A combination of old vines, low yields, and excellent southeast exposures result in traditional, full-bodied Southern Rhône style wines. And to Perdigao’s credit, each of his wines exudes a distinct flavor profile that reflects the critical interplay between the artist as winemaker and each vineyard’s distinct terroir. The results have been the ever-growing number of medals and recognition afforded Domaine Chamfort.
The Rhône River makes a hasty exit from Switzerland’s Lac Leman, better known to Americans as Lake Geneva, and cuts a swift path through southern France to the Mediterranean Sea. As a source of many of France’s greatest wines, the wine growing region of the Rhône Valley begins just south of Lyon around the city of Vienne and terminates far south, near Aix-en-Provence. The length of the river allows for two quite distinct wine producing sub-regions in the Rhône Valley: one north and the other south.
In the Northern Rhône, one finds granite and gneiss based soils, coupled with a continental climate. Here, Syrah is king of the cultivars, where it reigns as the only permitted red variety. The Northern Rhône is home to such illustrious wines as Côte Rôtie and Hermitage, among others. Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier are the permitted white grape varieties in the Northern Rhône. The wines of this sub-region tend to be highly structured and firm, and often capable of great aging.
The Southern Rhône sub-region announces a warmer Mediterranean climate with substantially varied terroirs. Here alluvium, sand, limestone, marl, pebbles, large flat stones known as galets, and more are found. Grenache is the dominant red variety, but there is an incredible wealth of cultivars used for blending, among them Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, and Carignan. The wines of the Southern Rhône are often aromatic and beautifully perfumed, juicy, supple in texture and endowed with considerable weight. Red wines dominate the production in the Southern Rhône. Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Vacqueyras, and Côtes-du-Rhône are the names to look for, but one should not discount the wonderful rosé and white wines that increasingly flow from the Southern Rhône. Grenache remains the mainstay for rosé, while Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, and Viognier yield the region’s finest white wines.
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