Wines of the Week – Cotes du Rhones from Eric Texier

Eric Texier’s wines have been fixtures on our shelves since our inception, and there’s good reason for that.  Born in Bordeaux in 1961 (a great vintage), Eric came to wine later in his life after working for many years as a nuclear engineer.  His systematic and articulate approach to wine have earned him the respect and admiration of his peers and of wine drinkers all over the world.

Before making his first wine, Texier spent five years studying winemaking and viticulture with some of the top winemakers and producers in the world.  What he took away from his studies was that the best wines were made with healthy fruit from organically farmed vineyards made with minimal intervention – in a sense, he subscribes to the belief that good wines make themselves if you start with good, healthy fruit.

We applaud his work and highly recommend his wines on a daily basis at the store.  The red wine comes from the fantastic 2010 vintage and garnered a 90 point score from Stephen Tanzer.  It  comes from a vineyard just south of Cornas and is composed of 100% Grenache – Texier believes that it is the most northern planting of Grenache in the Rhone Valley.  The cooler temperatures of this site results in a wine that is energetic, juicy and super pure with notes of zesty raspberry, cherry, roasted herbs and spices.   It is a wine that is comfortable served alongside lamb skewers, but it is equally delicious with roasted autumn root vegetables.

The white, from the 2011 vintage, came in with an 89 point score from Stephen Tanzer, and it is a blend of old vine Clairette (90%) rounded out with splashes of Marsanne and Grenache Blanc. Like the red, the white is energetic and focused with a great balance between tartness and ripe fruit.  It displays a nice mix of tangy citrus counterbalanced by more exotic tropical notes along with a gentle spicy note on the finish.  Try it with a lemon roasted chicken served alongside an arugula, beet, goat cheese salad and experience a wine and food nirvana!

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