2011TraversRasteau2011 Domaine des Coteaux des Travers, Rasteau Reserve, Rhone Red, France.
Here’s a great Grenache based red that can be a go to wine for the next two or three years, it has lovely rich fruit, stony elements and spicy bramble making it a hedonistic and stylish value, very much in the Gigondas class at about half the price. Domaine des Coteaux des Travers have seen their two main wines go from Cotes du Rhone Villages to classified AOC’s, as both Rasteau and Cairanne becoming their own unique AOC, with Cairanne most recent, just last year getting the nod, as the quality of the regions and the wines meriting the upgrade, especially wines like this one making an impact, these areas are no longer the ugly step-sisters to Gigondas or Vacqueyras! The 2011 vintage Domaine des Coteaux des Travers Rasteau Reserve is full bodied with loads of black and red fruits with black cherry, plum and boysenberry leading the way with chalky stones, peppercorns, black salted licorice, lavender and creme de cassis adding to the pleasure, the fruit is ripe and the tannins are sweet and the wine feels tremendous on the palate, while still being focused and firm around the edges. Robert Charavin’s signature wine also hints at earthiness and has subtle floral perfume, this is a very lovely and fun effort, made from about 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Mourverde, a classic GSM, and it was fermented and aged mostly in cement vats with some lots in neutral oak cask, it is a fleshy wine that is really starting to come into it’s own right now, losing a bit of flamboyant baby fat and gaining in detail and length, it is impressive and easy to love at this stage. Imported by Charles Neal and available still it is a solid buy and should go another 5 to 7 years with no problem, though who wants to wait? Drink with cheeses, grilled meats and rustic cuisine for best results, but even just a glass on it’s very compelling.
($17 Est.) 92+ Points, grapelive

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