Compare Rotie Cellars 2012, Southern Blend, Washington State
With 65% Grenache, 25% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah this is a blend of the grapes similar to the Southern Rhone that will approximate Guigal’s Gigondas Rouge.
It would appear at first impressions that more new oak has been used on the Rotie wine. Oak
aromas and ripe dark fruit dominate on the nose. Prune (for some noses, plum) with coffee and smoke create a solid aromatic foundation. The expected effects of Mourvedre are easily detected. This is a much darker wine than the Gigondas and although the individual flavors are not so apparent on the nose, a soft attack (which this dark wine does not forecast) is however what we find on the palate. The synchronism of the elements make for a harmonious experience in the mouth. This is a soft monster.
A New World wine often shows these characteristics: fullness and softness. Riper fruit, deeper tones, application of noticeable oak and the overall attempt by the winemaker clearly stated by this wine that “I am something.” Both wines stimulate our emotional responses. The Rotie also asks the question, “Do you really think I come from the New World and am crafted for New World palates? And have I succeeded?” Answer: Yes, if this is your style.
What about Old World mineralogy? Any of that here? Hardly! One might strain to notice it, but the design is fruit at its fullest with character added for distinctiveness. Personally the prune/plum character is not my favorite and the grapes were a little too ripe at harvesting for me, but that’s a style issue.
Make your analysis. Which do you like best and why? What are the similarities and dissimilarities? Does the comparison advance your knowledge of what is happening in France these days?