2016-C Piaugier Sablet, Rhone Valley, France

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Domaine de Piaugier is located in the village of Sablet in the southern Rhône Valley. Alphonse Vautour first built a cellar on his 15-acre estate in 1947. Today, his grandson, Jean-Marc Autran, manages the now 75-acre estate, comprising vineyards from Sablet to neighboring Gigondas. The majority of the vines are between 20 and 40 years old, with deep roots that bear smaller harvests of grapes with complex, rich aromas and flavor profiles. The Domaine makes a range of wines with each focusing on showcasing each site’s unique terroir. The grapes are hand-harvested and whole-cluster fermented. Grenache comprises 75% of the blend and is fermented in cement tanks. Syrah is 25% of the blend and is fermented in older wooden barrels (the must gets the benefit of micro-oxygenation, but won’t pick up significant aroma or flavor compounds from the oak). The wine is bottled unfiltered, so don’t be alarmed if you see a bid of sediment in the bottle - this is a natural part of winemaking! The nose and palate show ripe red cherries, rhubarb, and pepper. Medium levels of acidity keep this rustic wine refreshing and will pair well with pork stew or jambalaya.

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