Drinking a glass of the 2018 Domaine de Cabasse Cuvée Marguerite Côtes-du-Rhône constitutes a true sensual pleasure. “Sensuous, expressive, harmonious, juicy, and downright charming” are all adjectives our tasting panel penned to describe Benoit Baudry’s gregarious Cuvée Marguerite Côtes-du-Rhône. Steeped with a deep crimson color and ebullient aromatics imbued with scents of cranberry, woodland berries, and hints of garrigue and wild Provençal herbs, the 2018 Domaine de Cabasse Cuvée Marguerite Côtes-du-Rhône offers a gracious opening act that flows seamlessly onto the palate. If a clumsy, overripe Côtes-du-Rhône with massive tannins is what you seek, you will not find it in the 2018 Cuvée Marguerite. Due to the natural methods of viticulture and production practiced at Domaine de Cabasse, the 2018 Cuvée Marguerite offers purity of flavor, subtle charm, vitality, and a natural, crunchy, mouthwatering finish. We suggest serving the lovely 2018 Domaine de Cabasse Cuvée Marguerite at cool room temperature (60° F), after a few minutes of aeration.
Whether you refer to it as good old-fashioned country cooking, down-home fare, or just the way mama used to make, unpretentious stick-to-your-ribs comfort foods are the way to go with the 2018 Domaine de Cabasse Cuvée Marguerite Côtes-du-Rhône. One of our favorite foods with a tasty Côtes-du-Rhône the likes of Cuvée Marguerite is pizza, but not just any ordinary pizza. Perhaps the best-kept secret of Provence is that it, rather than Italy, bears the distinction of being the ancestral home of pizza; while the region’s second best secret is just how good Provençal pizzas are. The Provençal versions of the world’s most popular food are what we commonly refer to as gourmet pizza. Consequently, some favorite pairings are a three-cheese and black olive pizza; a chicken and mushroom pizza, with red onion, peppers, and Provençal herbs; and any number of vegetable pizzas with eggplant, zucchini, or artichoke. Smoked meats, pasta and almost anything served with fresh tomato sauce, including fish, will provide savory pairings in the company of the 2018 Domaine de Cabasse Cuvée Marguerite Côtes-du-Rhône. One other Provençal specialty not to overlook with the 2018 Cuvée Marguerite is a simple spit roasted chicken or game bird such as squab dripping with natural juices, olive oil, and wild herbs. The aromatic juicy flavors of the wine and fowl make a delectable interlude. Enjoy!
Provence is home to many of France’s finest cheeses, with a tremendous variety of chèvre leading the charge. Domaine de Cabasse’s 2018 Cuvée Marguerite makes a splendid companion to goat, sheep, and cow’s milk cheeses. Banon and Bûcheron provide especially tasty accompaniments to Domaine de Cabasse’s splendid Côtes-du-Rhône. To order or learn more about the world’s finest cheeses, contact us at www.cheesemonthclub.com.
My family and I first discovered Domaine de Cabasse, a traditional Provençal mas (farmhouse) and working winery a quarter of a century ago on a wine buying trip to the South of France. With 15 rooms and a delightful country kitchen that served superb traditional Provençal fare, Domaine de Cabasse provided the ideal base for visiting nearby Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas while discovering some of the finest Côtes-du-Rhônes on the planet growing just a cicada’s song away from our rooms.
Under the dazzling Provençal sun and surrounded by a sea of undulating vines that flow from the hills below the picture perfect hill town of Séguret, officially one of the most beautiful villages in France, we thought we had discovered Shangri-La. There was only one hitch. We could only enjoy the domaine’s wines on the spot, as the proprietor, Monsieur Haeni, was not exporting his wines to the United States. Apparently, only those fortunate enough to stay at Domaine de Cabasse and the small steady flow of Dutch, German and Swiss wine lovers who loaded their vehicles once a year with the domaine’s liquid booty were the principal recipients of Domaine de Cabasse’s captivating Côtes-du-Rhônes and Gigondas. We returned some years later to the same song: “Enjoy our wines here,” and of course we did.
Fortunately, patience and persistence often pay dividends. On a recent trip to the Southern Rhône, we again opted to stay at our old haunt and were delighted to discover that the domaine’s wines were not only better than we had remembered, the gregarious new proprietor, Benoit Baudry, consented to sell us some of his delightful wines. There was only one hitch. We had to wait until the next available vintage. After having tasted every one of Domaine de Cabasse’s outstanding 2016 Côtes-du-Rhônes and falling in love at first sip, we thought: subsequent vintages can’t match up to the highly touted 2016 vintage. Fortunately, we were wrong and extremely delighted when the 2018 Domaine de Cabasse Cuvée Marguerite Côtes-du-Rhône arrived. We were so eager to see if the wine could come close to the exciting array of 2016 wines we had tasted at the winery that we gave it nary a rest in the cellar. To our surprise and delight, the 2018 Domaine de Cabasse Cuvée Marguerite Côtes-du-Rhône is every bit as exciting as its 2016 counterpart. The 2018 vintage in the Southern Rhône has turned out to be another fine strand in a string of excellent vintages in the Rhône Valley.
Domaine de Cabasse fashions several exceptional Côtes-du-Rhônes, including a village designated Séguret and Cuvée Marguerite named for Benoit’s wife and this month’s feature, in addition to a delightful full-bodied Gigondas and a tasty rosé that goes down far too easily. Wine production is sustainable and carried out under the careful eye and deft hand of Philippe Cambie, the Rhône Valley’s most renowned oenologist. After a quarter of a century, we are thrilled to be able to share Domaine de Cabasse’s wines with our members.
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