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That's So. Rho.

Southern Rhone Valley's what's up. Check out the lineup below...

Domaine de Fondreche Ventoux Blanc 2018  Pretty serious stuff, this might end up going after the rosé described below... we'll see how it goes tomorrow. Anyway, this blend of 30% Grenache Blanc, 30% Roussanne, 30% Clairette and 10% Rolle (aka Vermentino, Pigato and Favorita) comes from some of the highest vineyards on Mont Ventoux, and every year it is one of the most delicious white wines of the Southern Rhone, certainly competing with bottles two or three times as expensive. Exuberantly fruity, richly textured but hardly heavy, this wine exhibits a purity and freshness that is often lacking in the white wines of warm and sunny climes like the Southern Rhone. The 2018 vintage is superb, balancing upfront notes of ripe stone and tropical fruit with a refreshing and subtly mineral finish.   Domaine les Aphillanthes Cotes du Rhone Rosé Classic Southern Rhone soils: galets roulés over limestone. Classic Southern Rhone rosé blend: 50% Grenache, 40% Cinsault, 7% Mourvedre and 3% Counoise. Classic style: fresh crunchy fruits, not so tart, nonetheless fresh and crisp, subtle bitterness reminiscent of fruit skins, firmly dry but gentle and easy to drink.  Domaine de Fondreche Ventoux Rouge 'Nature' 2018 From vines that regularly yield grapes with an extra degree of freshness, Domaine de Fondreche fashions their cuvee 'Nature', a wine made without any oak or added sulfites. The blend is 30% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 30% Mourvedre and 10% Cinsault, and the wine shows great typicity. Rich dark berry and plum flavors are intense, while nuances of herbs and spice provide nice contrast. The palate is full, fleshy and round, with tons of dark fruit flavors, finishing with a purity and freshness that begs another sip.  Domaine la Bouissiere Gigondas 2016 Altitude is a factor in any wine region, but in the Southern Rhone it can really make a difference; the fresh breezes of higher elevations helping to preserve important natural acidity in the finished wines. In a sunny region like the Southern Rhone, getting good sugar content in grapes at harvest is rarely an issue, but the sort of ripeness that makes a fine wine (often referred to as "physiological ripeness") can be elusive if you also seek fresh acidity. Domaine la Bouissiere's Gigondas vineyards sit between 350 and 400 meters (some of the highest in the region), allowing them to let their grapes hang long, often into October, ensuring ripeness that imparts flavors both fresh and rich. The 2016 vintage was an unequivocal success in the Southern Rhone, with so many great wines to choose from, but Domaine la Bouissiere's 2016 Gigondas is truly a star. Dense, dark, powerful and long, it will improve for many years. Today it is all about ripe fruit, with hints of the exotic notes that will one day take over (cured and smoked meats, olives, myriad spices and herbs). Grill up some fine cuts to serve alongside this burly beauty. 

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