Red Blend, 2018. Domaine Cazes

Red Blend, 2018. Domaine Cazes

Item #: U0521R1IF
Vintage: 2018
Varietal: Red Blend
Vineyard/Appellation: Cotes du Roussillon, France
Color: Dark Red
Nose: Berry, Spice
Palate: Enveloping
Finish: Very Clean
Rating: 98
Cellaring/Serving Suggestions: Now thru 2024/Red Meat, Game/13.5% Alcohol by Volume

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Domaine Cazes was founded in 1895 by Michel Cazes in the Rivesaltes appellation of Roussillon. Back then, Roussillon was referred to as one region made up of many smaller areas, but none were deemed worth noting on their own. That has changed dramatically in the last 50 years.

Today, there are nearly 15 different appellations now considered worthy of AOC status. The AOC (Appellation d'Origine Controlee) is the French government agency which assigns the appellation of origin to each area. While there is no pecking order, as there is in Bordeaux and Burgundy, it's almost an open secret which ones are better than the others. Rivesaltes, located as far south as you can get in France overlooking the Mediterranean, is considered one of the better regions.

While Michel started with just a few acres, the 5th generation of his ancestors now craft wines from nearly 500 acres. In 1997, they converted to organic and biodynamic and today, they do not add any sulfites to their wines. The climate here is maritime and the soil calcareous, in other words, perfect for growing wine grapes.

These grapes tend to be the same as those featured in the Southern Rhone-Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre, and usually in equal parts. On the surface it sounds as though they would all taste the same, but the soils dictate the tastes, making them all slightly different. Here they produce bright, clean flavors of berry and spice to power through a wild mushroom risotto or pork tenderloin smothered in caramelized onions.