SOLD OUT! The 2017 Grands Bois Rasteau ‘Cuvée Marc’ is the top wine from this top estate of the Southern Rhone. Named after owner and winemaker Marc Besnardeau, this is one of top renditions of this wine ever produced.
For those who know Grands Bois, you know their wines easily compete with the best wines from Chateauneuf du Pape and Gigondas. The 2017 Cuvée Marc recently scored 95 points with Jeb Dunnuck, and I agree with his review 100%. Only 7 cases made their way to North Carolina this year, and I bought them all.
2017 Grands Bois Rasteau ‘Cuvée Marc’
95 points Jeb Dunnuck
I’m going to lead with that Jeb Dunnuck review. Keep in mind that when he scores a wine 95+ points, it usually costs at least $50! This one “checks in as 50% Grenache and 25% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre that spent just under a year in demi-muids. Gorgeous notes of cassis, blackberries, ground herbs, and earth all emerge from this rich, Provençal, full-bodied Rasteau. With ultra-fine tannins, incredible balance, and a great finish, it too is one of the finest wines I’ve tasted from this estate. Drink now – 2030.”
Many of you already know the Grands Bois story, as we’ve featured their wines in the past, but here’s a recap. I’ve long been a fan of these wines, and I consider them to be one of the finest estates in the Southern Rhone. Marc Besnardeau is originally from Paris. For years, he worked as a sommelier at one of the top restaurants in Paris. But love struck, and Marc met Mireille Farjon, whose family owned pristine vineyards in the Southern Rhone. The two married, and Marc made the complete change from the city life to the life of a vigneron. The rest, as they say, is history.
His terrific credentials as a sommelier and his fine palate set him up to make great wines of his own. Marc was always a fan of wines made from old, low yielding vines; these were the wines with terrific concentration and great expression of terroir. And you can see, smell, and taste Marc’s personality in each of his wines. All of his wines are deeply colored, ripe, robust and while one can think of many flavors to describe them, the word delicious pretty much says it all.
That leads us to Marc’s top wine, one that his family named after him. It comes from Rasteau, just north of Gigondas, and this was a plot of land that Marc and Mireille purchased and planted in 2004. Whereas Marc “married into” most of his vineyards, this is truly his passion project. Farmed organically since its inception, the vines have now matured to a point where they are producing one of the top wines in the village. Tiny amounts make it to the US each year….we got our fair share.
You will not find this at another WNC wine shop, and you’ll struggle to find it anywhere in NC. If you love full, robust, and lusty Southern Rhone reds, you owe it to yourself to get some of this. And with spring grilling season almost here, this is a great wine to have on hand for steaks, chops, and bbq. Cheers to happy drinking and eating in Asheville!
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