Eric Chauvin’s story is a familiar one. A fifth generation winemaker inherits his family domaine. He begins to bottle the wines himself, tightens up the quality, converts to organic viticulture. We stumbled across Chauvin’s tiny Domaine le Souverain in the Rhône Valley a few years ago, and have been delighted at the discovery.
And the wines? Souverain’s reds are neither ageworthy nor pretentious — they’re straightforward, balanced, well-made, and simply delicious. They’re also far more complex than your average drugstore Côtes-du-Rhône. Chauvin’s organic practices and careful vinification means his wines pulse with energy and life.
Last week we reintroduced the new vintage of Souverain’s Séguret, a crowd favorite from a few years ago. Today we’re excited to release a second Souverain red: the Sablet “Réserve.” It’s a blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah, and spends a year in large oak barrels before bottling. Chauvin has handled the oaking beautifully — the notes of toast and spice add a stylish foil to his juicy organic fruit.
This is bolder and fuller than the Séguret — the nose shows intense jammy fruit, with spice and garrigue. The palate is rich and mouthfilling, but maintains vibrancy — the fruits are ripe and smooth but refreshing and nimble. Serve this with a stew and roasted vegetables, or just a Netflix show and a wintery evening. It’s cozy, welcoming, and delightfully easy to drink.
Souverain Sablet “Reserve” 2016
bottle price: $22
FREE EAST COAST SHIPPING ON ANY 12 BOTTLES