Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre * Côtes du Rhône, France
13.5% ABV * 75cl
From a vineyard immediately bordering the area of Châteauneuf-du-Pape's appellation, between the communes of Orange and Châteauneuf-du-Pape (all that separates this field and Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a main road.) Significantly it has the same Galet stones (large round potato-sized pebbles) that give Châteauneuf its unique character as they absorb sunlight during the day and release heat at night bringing on the ripening of the grapes.
Beauchene isn't completely organic but practises "agriculture raisonnee", a philosophy of production that guarantees a top quality product whilst at the same time ensuring a better respect of the environment, through the use of traditional techniques; horse ploughing, hand harvesting and hand sorting by each grape-picker.
Deep ruby in colour with aromas of ripe red fruits and bilberries which continue as red fruit flavours on the palate that develop to hints of raspberries and blackcurrant. Dense, rich and a little smoky, this is a 'mini' Chateauneuf - at a fraction of the cost.