When Charlotte, NC-based importer Eric Solomon teamed up with French winemakers Michel Gassier and Philippe Cambier, he was just networking, getting A Little Help From My Friends. Little did he know that he was assembling what most observers would consider a true Dream Team of Rhone wines. Cambier makes wine for most of the better wineries in the Southern Rhone and Gassier is a super-star vintner who is recognized as one of France's most inventive minds. Toss in Solomon's unerring palate and you have a common language that translates into bottles like this brilliant 2010 Cercius, a Cotes du Rhone that pushes the envelope on what those wines are supposed to be.
In place of the reserved nature of most Cotes du Rhone, this is broad and complex and big-boned, offering up a mega-dose of berries, cherries, herbs, spices, pepper, plums, and chocolate, all laced with a graceful shot of forward terroir notes like limestone and brambles. The hint of graphite on the finish gives it a flattering dash of bitter that drags it back from any suggestion of "fruit bomb". It feels slightly slippery on the palate and finishes slowly and lazily.
Pair This Wine With:
Baron of Lamb Provencal, Flemish Carbonnade of Beef, Daube of Beef with Olives, Duck Margets with Green Peppercorns, Roast Sirloin of Pork with White Pepper Parmesan Sauce and Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf