Domaine des Escaravailles Les Sablières CdR 2013
Wine: Domaine des Escaravailles Les Sablières
Region: Côtes du Rhône (Rasteau)
Grapes: Grenache, Syrah
Vines: Lutte Raisonée (sustainable)
Third generation winemaker Gilles Ferran now runs the domaine that was founded in 1953 by his grandfather Jean-Louis. The domaine's name, Escaravailles, translates to scarab (beetle), which was the nickname given by the local village to the black-robed Catholic monks who populated the area's hillsides in the 1600s. Today, the domaine farms 40 hectares in Rasteau and another 25 across the nearby villages of Cairanne, Roaix, Villedieu and St-Roman. They practice lutte raisonée with a strong leaning toward organic viticulture.
Gilles works with wine consultant Phillip Cambie, native of the Languedoc who works closely with a handful of wineries in the region. The Les Sablières cuvée is a 70% grenache and 30% syrah blend. The grenache vines average 40 to 50 years old at roughly 600 feet above sea level surrounding the village of Rasteau. The combination of old vines, elevation and sandy-clay soil give this wine a huge advantage over valley floor CdR vineyards, which too often produce thin, insipid wines better used for making vinegar.
Domaine des Escaravailles Les Sablières 2013 is deep ruby in color with vibrant aromas of raspberry and blackberry, followed by juicy fruit flavors on the palate, balanced acidity and firm yet gentle tannins, giving it an impressive structure. Smooth, medium-long finish with sour cherry notes lingering. Versatile pairing options. Excellent value.