Cercius, Cotes du Rhone, France.

Cercius-Cotes-du-Rhone-Red-Wine-France

Grapes

85% Grenache, 15% Syrah

 

Facts

  • You’ve probably read countless times that “…you should never choose a wine based on the label!” Well, I call BS on that! If anything, France needs to step-up their wine label game (as is beautifully demonstrated here) and start getting more creative if they plan on rising from the ashes!
    To me, a great label and overall good packaging are sometimes the only way a producer is going to get recognized. I have no problem point out that the label was the main reason I picked up this bottle.
     
  • The importer details on a wine label are most-often ignored by consumers, and for good reason! They’re boring! However, once you start recognizing a few of the big names, I won’t go so far as to say a trusted importer is a guarantee that you’ll personally enjoy a wine, but it’s a very good indicator of quality!

  • When dealing with European wine importers, there’s three that I’d like to throw your way as they’ve never let me down: Kermit Lynch, Jorge Ordonez, and Eric Solomonwhich the Cercius is part of. Just look for their information of the back label.

  • Grenache is a key component to the reds from the Cotes du Rhone region of France, usually blended with Syrah for wines such as Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Cotes du Ventoux, Cotes du Rhone Villages and Gigondas.

  • The grapes that comprise the blend for the Cercius was put together by the importer himself (Eric Solomon), with a little help from renowned oenologist Philippe Cambie and venerable French winemaker Michel Gassier.

  • 93 points from Robert Parker on the 2010 vintage. The ‘09 received a 91. Try and top that for under $20 a bottle!

French-Rhone-Wine-MapPlace (click map for larger view)

  • Soil is boring, except when you can actually taste the influence it’s had on a wine!
    The soil around this region is littered with stones referred to as ‘galets.’ It’s these stones that help to retain the heat of the day and radiate it to the vines during the night. Think of it like a Snuggie for vines.
     
  • Wind is EVEN MORE boring than soil, until you find out that the name Cercius comes from the Latin translation of the mistral winds that sweep
    through the vineyards in this region.

  • These cooling breezes actually help the winemakers to tame the Mediterranean climate, by ensuring that the ripeness on the the Grenache grapes doesn’t get out of control.

  • The vineyards used for the Cercius are located at the southern edge of the Rhone Valley near Costieres de Nimes.

Taste

Ripe and intense, the Circius shows cassis, currant and black cherries, laced with cracked black pepper, slate, anise, dried orange peel and garrigue. A surprisingly long finish, with balance and acidity. Potential for another few years in the cellar. Impressive juice!

 

Pairing

Pair as you would with a Chateauneuf-du-Pape or Gigondas i.e. game, lamb shank, steak on the grill, mushrooms, truffle roasted/braised meats, duck, stew/casserole, black pudding, hearty red-sauce pasta and beef in just about every form.

 

Price

$17 – If you see a bottle, make sure to grab it! Only 5,000 cases were imported and it certainly won’t last long at this price.

Cercius-Cotes-du-Rhone-Red-Wine

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