by Grant Lembke
This honestly blew me away! It was exactly what I look for in a young, approachable Rhone wine. It has a ton of fresh purple fruit upfront with some black pepper and assorted spice running throughout. What really made this a step above was the super-expressive aromatic notes of menthol (which I love in a Rhone wine) as well as lavender and violet.
Domaine de Fenouillet began in 1902 when Casimir Soard acquired plots across the Rhone Valley well before it was an international sensation. After his death, his children generally sold their grapes to the larger negociants as was common for the time. It wasn’t until the 1990s that Patrick and Vincent Soard decided to turn the estate around and bottle their own wine. Since then they have slowly gained back all of their plots and now make a variety of bottles. This one, in particular, comes from a few sites across Ventoux including the slate dominated plateau of St Hippolyte and the clay-limestone soils around Barroux.