2019 Domaine Paul Autard Cotes du Rhone France
The nose reveals scents of garrigue and liquorice, the palate is on raspberries and cherries with its lingering and peppery finish.
85% Grenache and 15% Syrah, from grapes grown in several parcels just outside the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation in Courthézon. The vines average 45 year old, with the oldest being 75 year old.
The grapes are all handpicked and transported to the winery in small boxes so as not to damage the fruit. Autard sorts the harvest twice, and then de-stems and lightly crushes the fruit to spontaneously begin the fermentation process by releasing the juice. Maceration and fermentation take place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks over 25 days. Autard’s tanks are equipped with a pneumatic mechanism to carry out pigeage (or punching down of the cap) to ensure optimal and gentle extraction. In addition, two pumping over operations (remontages) are carried out daily for 10 days, to enhance extraction and aerate the wine, in order to obtain a plush texture. Each of the varieties are vinified separately, assembled in late January, and aged in stainless steel tanks until bottling in late February.
Autard’s Côtes-du-Rhône is a smoky, complex wine, loaded with warm raspberry fruit, showing many of the best attributes of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. 14.5% alcohol.