“A serious crowd-pleaser” Rhône red from a “first-rate estate”
We were so taken with this delicious red, named Font du Vent, at a recent trade tasting that we went ahead and snapped it up for our Wine of the Week.
Font du Vent is a property in the southern Rhône Valley, near Avignon, owned by the Gonnet family of Châteauneuf du Pape. The Gonnet family has been settled in Bédarrides, in the heart of Châteauneuf country, since 1600. In 1880, Jean Etienne Gonnet built the farmhouse that serves as the headquarters of the estate today.
His grandson, Etienne Gonnet, created Font de Michelle in 1950. This 30 hectare vineyard – adjoining land connected all in one lot – is magnificently situated in the southeast of the Châteauneuf du Pape AOC.
Since 1975, Etienne’s sons, Jean and Michel, have kept watch over the estate. For over 30 years their concern has been to improve on wine making and vine growing methods, to develop full-bodied wines that are concentrated, refined and which reflect the ‘terroir.’ Today, their respective sons, Bertrand and Guillaume, tend to the estate.
“This first-rate estate has been run by cousins Guillaume and Bertrand Gonnet since 2006. Encompassing 74 acres in Chateauneuf du Pape and 50 acres in Cotes du Rhone, these wines are always beautifully perfumed, silky and lean towards the more fruit-driven, finesses-styled end of the spectrum. Both 2011 and 2012 are strong here.”
– Jeb Dunnuck, Parker’s Wine Advocate
“The 2012 Cotes du Rhone Les Promesses is a decidedly plump, fruit-forward effort that gives up plenty of garrigue, sweet flowers and licorice-laced black raspberry fruit. Medium to full-bodied, it’s a serious crowd-pleaser to drink over the coming couple of years. Drink now-2017.”
The Wine Advocate
Lovely rose, strawberry color. Spicy nose of freshly crushed red berries with baking spice, rosemary and fennel aromas. On the palate, lush texture with cherry and raspberry fruit, hints of vanilla and anise finishing with black pepper spice. A blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Cinsault and Carignan.
90 points Arnie