At first glance, you might be thinking that my “Wine of the Week” went well with blueberry pancakes. I’m sure there is one; Champagne always hits the spot for me. But, NO, that’s not the reason for my title of this post. It does play into this week’s wine however, but more from a flavor point of view than a food related stance.
I’ve written quite a bit about French wines, especially back towards the middle to later part of last year. So much so, I was ready to learn to speak French and don a beret! One of my last reviews centered on a wine from the Rhone Valley, specifically from the Southern Rhone, or Chateauneuf-du-Pape region (Chateau Sixtine Manus Dei 2015).
I was VERY excited about the 2015 Vintage from the moment I started seeing the wonderful wines coming from that area for that vintage. Wrote on a few of them as well. Won’t give you links to them, if you’re interested, just go to my “Keyword Search” area and type in Rhone, you’ll get a few.
In the meantime, there has been as much, if not more, excitement centered on the 2016 Vintage from the same area. Actually showing a tick better than 2015! I knew I would have to be on the lookout for one of these superlative wines and by chance I received an email offering to sell me what has to be one of the greats! Pointing out the fact that it earned a 93 Point Review from Vinous Media, a 94 Point Review from Wine Advocate and a whopping 95 Point Review from Wine Spectator! I love it when reviewers agree. The wine?
FRANÇOIS VILLARD CORNAS JOUVET 2016
For me, the standout for this wine is the fact that it comes from the Northern Rhone, Cornas to be exact. Being from the Northern area, almost all the wines there are made with 100% Syrah, whereas the Southern Rhone’s can be blended, with Grenache and Syrah being the two primary grapes used in red wine production. I LOVE SYRAH! For me it goes with so much. A wine showing more fruit can pair well with ribs and Bar-B-Q while a Syrah with a more savory element can go well with the lighter red meats, like lamb and pork. Click here for the tech note.
Being a French wine, I was thinking that it would be a little more savory than fruit. Boy was I in for a surprise. Don’t get me wrong, there was that element of meatiness or earthiness but right along with those elements was this wonderful expression of rich dark fruit; and here’s the reason for the title, the essence of blueberry notes! You didn’t think I was drinking wine with Blueberry Pancakes, did you? I will say though that I did write this post right after having those pancakes, that’s what made me think of the association. Maybe I’ll have some of those pancakes again with the aforementioned Champagne and let you know how it goes!
So back to the wine. The balance the wine exhibited was nothing less than outstanding. The fruit, the savory and then the softer mouthfeel and nice spice notes lingering to a full and long finish. MAGNIFIQUE! Darn, there’s that French creeping back in.
The last item of note; being from the Northern Rhone, the wines tend to be of not only higher quality (I know I might get some push-back from that comment), but they tend to be of higher price as well. I’m pleased to say, that while not inexpensive, at a price of around $45, it is well worth it! Probably the most difficult issue is going to be availability. Can’t find it, keep your eyes open for other 2016 wines from either the Northern or Southern Rhone. There have to be some excellent wines out there across every price range.
à votre santé (Cheers)