MCF Rare Wine

A Flamboyant Glass of Grenache (and Syrah)
About a month ago, I wrote about a very exuberant Syrah from Corbieres (the Syrhconference de Presse of Faillenc Sainte Marie).  Exuberant, but balanced.  

Today I'd like to hit the other side of the coin with a bombastic-but-balanced example of Southern France's other most noble grape, Grenache (with a bit of Syrah).  

Today's wine, the Plan de Dieu 'Terres Saintes' 2015 from Domaine La Manarine is about as big a mouthful of Grenache as you'll get without sacrificing typicity, terroir or balance.

Manarine is wonderful producer based around the village of Travaillan and most of their vineyards are in the 'Plan de Dieu' section of the Cotes du Rhone Villages appellation.

Depending on which legend you believe, 'Plan de Dieu' either refers to the fact that the area was so well-suited to viticulture when first settled that it was referred to as, well, the Plain of God or, it was at one time a lawless frontier such that you had to 'Pray to God' that you made it across alive.

Either way, it's a very serious terroir that yields wines of power, structure and surprising longevity for a 'mere' Cotes du Rhone.

This 'Terres Saintes' as they call it is Manarine's top Cotes du Rhone Cuvée (it's also Organic) and, for a modest $19, you're getting a wine you can happily observe and enjoy over the next decade.

Right now, as I mentioned, this is a powerhouse wine, packed with texture and fruit but, hidden beneath that, lay hints of the fabulous leathery, mineral nuance that will slowly emerge in the years to come as those galets in the soil find their voice.

It's very much a 2015 - dense and powerful and warming - but what I love the most about it is that (unlike many 2015s from the Rhone, IMO) it's not stewy or's very balanced.

Despite all the concentration, it's still got a nice sense of energy running through it that manifests itself through the lively acidity and flowery elements that soar at its edges.

Right now, it's pouring rain here in NYC and, as I type this, I look out my window at the dreary day and visions of lamb stew and cassoulet and rich gratins dance through my mind, and I can see myself happily diving into them with a glass of this by their side.

I mentioned it's only $19/btl, right??

Matt Franco
MCF Rare Wine, Ltd
249 West 13th Street NYC 10011