France’s Southern Rhône valley produces rich, smooth red blends. At one end of the spectrum there’s Châteauneuf-du-Pape, famous and long-lived; at the other there’s Côtes du Rhône, uncomplicated and inexpensive. Today’s wine is from the middle.
If Beaumes de Venise calls to mind dessert wines, you’re not wrong. The town is famous for its sweet Muscat wines first planted in 600 BCE. But the terroir also produces a small amount of excellent red, with a rugged richness that makes them sturdy and crowd-pleasing.
Goubert’s Beaumes de Venise is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault, with the final grape adding a sauvage quality that makes the wine distinct and delicious. The 2018 has just arrived and it’s delightful, dense and gorgeous. All three grapes fermented together and raised in concrete tank; the wine is full of spice and garrigue, but all drawn from grapes and earth instead of oak.
The nose is dark and weathered, showing strawberry jam, honey, and earthy notes;. the mouth is lively and juicy, with pleasant structure. This is an astonishingly complete wine at $22. It’s perhaps a bit less refined than its older brother Gigondas, but what it lacks in elegance it makes up in pluck. Serve on a wintery weeknight.
Goubert Beaumes-de-Venise 2018
bottle price: $22
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