2007 Rhone Deal: Domaine des Escaravailles Rasteau La Ponce RP 91-93 $18.95

April 9, 2010 Cellar WorthyHigh End Values  No comments

Domaine des Escaravailles Cotes-du-Rhone Rasteau La Ponce2007 has been an amazing year for Rhone reds and here is the great thing about the best vintages: they turn traditional “great values” into knockout classics.  70% Grenache and 30% Syrah, this wine pours a deep opaque purple/red color that suggests good things are to come, and it doesn’t disappoint.

At first, I thought the nose was a little closed with a touch too much alcohol, but after an hour in a decanter it totally changed, showing a great peppery scent framed by ripe fruit and nice smokey overtones.  This wine tastes dense and bold, if a little rustic, without being overblown.  What differentiates old world Rhone from many of the new world Rhone blends is they show a great constraint and clarity while still being aggressive, concentrated, bold and lengthy.

This wine will only get better with age (the same reason it improved throughout the evening).  I’m going to put a few back and try it again in five years.  I think it will gain a significant complexity which will only serve to build on the great wine it already is. It’s my birthday today and I look forward to opening another bottle on April 8, 2015, if not before!  Under $20 for a potential RP 93 Cotes du Rhone-Villages?  Amazing.

Robert Parker 91-93 Points

“The 2007 Cotes du Rhone-Villages Rasteau La Ponce (70% Grenache and 30% Syrah) reveals a smoky, chocolaty, meaty character as well as abundant quantities of black cherry jam displayed in a full-bodied, sensationally concentrated, dense, chewy style that saturates the palate. The vintage’s greatness is noticeable in the noble, ripe tannins and stunning length. This serious wine should age for 10-15 years.

Readers should be on the lookout for the wines from this superb estate. None other than the brilliant southern Rhone oenologist Philippe Cambie is the consultant at Domaine des Escarvailles, and their 2006s were profiled with considerable accolades in issue #178′s report on the World’s Greatest Wine Values. The 2007s are the finest wines yet produced at this estate. Proprietor Gilles Farran owns some sensational old vines spread among his 160+ acres in the Cotes du Rhone and the Cotes du Rhone-Villages of Rasteau, Cairanne, and Roaix. Yields are low, with most of the vineyards rendering less than 30 hectoliters per hectare. Don’t forget about the extraordinary, bargain-priced Cotes du Rhone reviewed in issue #178, Domaine Calendal, which is a joint project of Philippe Cambie and proprietor Giles Farran” (WA)

2007 Domaine des Escaravailles Cotes-du-Rhone Rasteau La Ponce- LA Wine Company $18.85

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