Chef Alexander’s “Pilgrimage to Provence” prix-fixe dinner–our final event for 2015 from November 17 to 22–begs to be accompanied by French wine. A large part of my mission during our Wine Club tour of Provence in October was to seek out great wines to pair with Provençal cuisine. We encountered wonderful wines everywhere, but we were frequently confronted with the vexing problem of limited production or no distribution in the United States.
Through the unrestrained diligence of your Carpe Vino wine hustlers, however, we’ve been able to source a broad array of wines from the places we visited in Provence and the Southern Rhone region. Over the next few days, we’ll introduce you to the inventory we’ll have available for your enjoyment next week (or, you can order online).
Three Entries from Chateau Mont-Redon. . .
Throughout 10 days of the tour (and 20 days in France altogether), the wine that impressed me most was Chateauneuf du Pape, and we’ll have at least three examples for sale, including two vintages from Chateau Mont-Redon, an estate our group visited. The winery is located between Avignon and Orange near the left bank of the Rhone River. The vineyards are laden with rock, providing an incredibly stressful growing environment that is impacted by an additional challenge: the Mistral, a strong, cold, northwesterly wind that blows from southern France from the northern Mediterranean, with sustained winds often exceeding forty kilometers per hour.
Here’s what’s on offer (as they say in France), all from Chateau Mont-Redon:
2010 Chateauneuf du Pape, 375ml bottles, $29.95. Wine Spectator Review, 91 points: “Dark plum, currant paste and steeped cherry notes are lined with fruitcake, anise and ganache accents. Offers a fleshy feel through the finish. Drink now through 2020. 2,500 cases imported.” — James Moleworth.
This is an opportunity to enjoy a couple of glasses of a stunning wine without having to invest in a full bottle. Chateau Mont-Redon creates this red wine using 13 different grape varietals.
2012 Chateauneuf du Pape, 750ml bottles, $54. Wine Advocate Review, 89 to 91 points: “It offers up a modern profile with plenty of cassis, licorice and hints of vanilla all emerging from the glass. Nicely concentrated, with sweet tannin and solid length on the finish.”— Jeb Dunnuck
VinousMedia.com Review, 93 points: “Fragrant, complex scents of ripe cherry and red berries, with deeper licorice and dark chocolate nuances adding complexity. Round and pliant in the mouth, offering appealingly sweet black raspberry and cherry compote flavors that become livelier and spicier with air. Finishes sappy and long, with sneaky tannins adding shape and grip.”— Josh Raynolds
2013 Côtes du Rhône, 750ml bottles, $19.99. Winery Tasting Notes: “The wine is deep violet red in color and the nose is intensely fruity, with mineral notes. This vintage brought remarkable freshness, as well as balanced tannins, for a wine that offers 3 to 5 years of aging potential. Dark berries and raspberries on the palate are offset by slight grilled notes and nuances of licorice.” This wine is a blend of 80% grenache and 20% syrah.
Join us from November 17 to November 22, starting at 5 p.m. each evening for Pilgrimage to Provence, four courses with choices for $59.95 pp++. We suggest you make reservations now by calling the restaurant at 530-823-0320 or go to www.opentable.com.