LCBO Sale Pick of the Week: Sept. 10

M. Chapoutier 2012 Rasteau (Rhône, France)

Sale $16.95, Regular $19.95
Discount (until Sept. 13): $3.00
LCBO # 321539 | 750 mL bottle

Tastes like: Ripe, generous black and red fruit, a whiff of smoke, and some lovely sweet black spice. Supple. Developing nice dried fruit character.
Pairs with: Stew, roast chicken or Cornish hen, spicy salami pizza, meat pie, striploin.
Good for: Anything around a roaring fire.
Alcohol: 14.5%
Drink: Now through 2024.

Why we're drinking this
So here we are one year and seven months since we last featured this wine as our #LCBO pick-of-the-week sale wine… and it’s the exact same vintage and it’s tasting better than ever. That’s one year and seven more months in bottle, which should bring about some noticeable evolution. In this case, that should mean some dried fruit and earthy qualities. (See tasting note below.) We’ve said before, we’re big fans of Chapoutier’s wines. They are royalty in France’s Rhône region, and deservedly so. Even though this wine is a full 50 cents more expensive than it was almost two years ago, that’s 50 cents well spent.

Tasting note
In our last review of this wine, we noted that its style was quite consistently, vintage over vintage, “big, bold, somewhat rustic but deeply flavoured and layered.” And sure enough, it remains thus. But it’s mellowed a bit… it feels more supple and gentle, as it should with this much bottle age. It’s full-bodied, with a biggish 14.5% alcohol, but it’s not “hot.” Sweet ripe fruit is delivered in notes of blackberry and blueberry, a hint of strawberry too. But there’s less of the savoury (greenish) herbs we noted last time, and more gentle wood smoke and sweet spice. The fruit is indeed evolving, gaining a jammy tinge and a bit of prune and fig. Yep, this wine is doing just what it’s supposed to do. It’s a lovely wine — we like it better now, even at a cost of another half a buck. This is a wine for fall. Cuddle up.

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This week's selection by kwäf Taste Bud Dick Snyder