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2017 Domaine des Escaravailles La Ponce Rasteau
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- Cellar 5 - 6 years (2024-2025)
- ABV 15%
- Closure: Cork
Rasteau's 880 hectares of vines are planted on marl and red and yellow clay soils over sandstone with rounded stones covering some sectors, which in heatwave vintages act like health insurance against hydric stress. By law, the Grenache component in the dry red blends must be 50% minimum, with Syrah and/or Mourvedre 20% minimum and other grape varieties of the appellation tolerated up to 20%. In 2010 the Rasteau AOC was created allowing the wines to be named after the village, dropping the Cotes-du-Rhone tag and joining the likes of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas at the pinnacle of the wine hierarchy in the Southern Rhone.
Part of the success of Domaines Des Escaravailles is due to the input of French oenologist, Philippe Cambie. As well as acting as a consultant winemaker for other Southern Rhone estates like Domaine Grand Nicolet, Cambie also consults to many of the top wines in Chateauneuf du Pape, including Pegau and Vieux Donjon.
This Rasteau-based estate is run by Gilles Ferran and is one of my go-to estates when looking for terrific wines that over-deliver. – Jeb Dunnuck.
Totally opaque dark red black colour with a dark red hue. Pronounced black raspberry and dark cherry aromas meet up with liquorice, infusions of fresh herbs, light incense and spicy pepper notes. Incredibly powerful and boasting more than an ample level of richness yet remaining remarkably fresh, the medium to full bodied palate is flooded with spicy black raspberry, liquorice and ripe cherry fruits. Some meatiness and infusions of incense ensue with explosive blackpepper characters on the finish. Well integrated yet structural tannins provide some muscle and chewiness to the otherwise opulent mouthfeel. Long penetrating aftertaste of dark to black fruits, liquorice, dried meats and spicy black pepper.
Cellar 5-6 years.
The 2017 Rasteau la Ponce is an 80-20 blend of Grenache and Syrah, with the Syrah aged in oak. The result offers notes of blackberries and black cherries on the nose, plenty of weight and a creamy texture on the palate, and a long, lush finish. It's wonderfully ripe, without going over the top. Tasted twice (once blind), with generally consistent notes, although one bottle showed more chocolate-espresso notes and finished slightly harder than the other. Drink 2019-2025.
Joe Czerwinski – Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate
Beautifully complex, with notes of lavender, bay leaf, orange peel, and spice, the 2017 Rasteau La Ponce is medium to full-bodied, has silky tannin, terrific purity, and a great finish. It's a year in, year out smoking value, and 2017 isn’t going to be an exception.