The magic of Close Bellane’s Côtes du Rhône comes from southern Rhône varieties grown in that region’s coolest clime: the estate’s elevation (high) and aspect (east-facing) and location (north) come together to mitigate the region’s heat. It’s a unique spot. The fruit is slow to mature, the wines are a pleasure to unwind.
Organically-grown fruit was hand-harvested from the steep valley-side vineyards; on average, vines were 30 years old. Bunches were partially de-stemmed and fermented by native yeast and punched-down twice daily. The wine matured in old Burgundy casks and concrete vats. Minimal sulfur was introduced, and the wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered. The final blend is equal parts Syrah and Grenache.
This wine brings together the best of two worlds: one the one hand, a refreshing, quaffable Côtes du Rhône Villages. On the other, a wine that is undeniably complex. Crimson, glinting with purple in the glass, the nose suggests black currant and spicy pepper with a dose of garrigue. Soft tannins on the palate are delicate enough to complement, rather than overpower, the wine’s distinctive fruit profile.
“A 50-50 blend of Grenache and Syrah, the 2017 Cotes du Rhone Villages Valreas delivers notes of briny black olives and black cherries. Full-bodied, concentrated and creamy in texture, it finishes savory, lush and long. It’s slightly more impressive than the 2016, as Syrah excelled in 2017.”
92 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Nov 2018
“Peppery herbs, flowers, and mint as well as plenty of black (and some blue) fruits emerge from the 2017 Côtes du Rhône Villages Valréas. Based on 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah, it’s medium-bodied, nicely concentrated, and balanced, with both richness and freshness.”
90-92 points, JebDunnuck.com, Aug 2018