Rasteau AOC, a Cru of the Rhône Valley and natural sweet wines
In 2010, it became a Cru in its own right, joining its neighbours Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vacqueyras and Gigondas. Formerly classified as a Côtes-du-Rhône-Village, Rasteau is now an appellation in its own right. A recognition that this red wine of the Southern Rhône Valley owes to the implication and the work of passionate wine growers. From now on, the natural sweet wines which made the reputation of this vineyard of the Vaucluse must also count with this dry red wine.
General presentation of Rasteau
The AOC Rasteau concerns red wines produced exclusively in the commune of Vaucluse, as well as natural sweet wines (VDN) produced in Rasteau and, to a lesser extent, in Cairanne and Sablet. The appellation area belongs to the vineyards of the Southern Rhône Valley. It is located in the Vaucluse, north of Avignon, between Orange and Grignan.
Grenache reigns supreme in the Rasteau vineyard. It is the main grape variety for red wines and natural sweet wines. Grenache is complemented by Syrah and Mourvèdre, as well as by a number of accessory grape varieties such as Bourboulenc, Carignan, Cinsault, Clairette, Counoise, etc.
Characteristics of Rasteau
AOC Rasteau red wines have a deep, intense ruby colour. Their nose is focused on red fruits such as blackcurrant. Notes of sweet spices, cocoa, liquorice and leather enrich the tasting. This wine of character is distinguished by its generosity and complexity. It also has a good ageing potential: 10 years or more.
As for the natural sweet wines, the (small) production is composed as follows:
-Le Grenat: behind a purplish red colour, aromas of black cherry, kirsch, spices and vanilla are revealed.
-The White: acidity and length in the mouth characterise this wine with its beautiful pale yellow colour. The aromatic palette is dominated by pear and citrus notes such as lemon.
-Le Rosé: a very fruity wine with strawberry, nectarine and cherry flavours and an orange-pink colour.
-Le Tuilé: a mahogany colour and complex aromas of coffee, tobacco, prunes, caramel and cocoa characterise this wine with a strong tannin content.
-L'Ambré: a very powerful wine with notes of gingerbread, dried fruit and caramel.
-Hors d'âge: notes of walnut, peat, mushroom, prunes, dried fruit and spices characterise the aromatic bouquet of this wine with its surprising mahogany colour.
-Rancio: both rare and sought-after, this wine offers a typical nutty taste.
How to taste a Rasteau
The red wines of AOC Rasteau traditionally accompany game and venison. Meats in sauce such as daubes, gardiannes and other stews are easily paired with these dry red wines. Rosé wines go well with Asian dishes, as well as cold meats and cheeses. As for the whites, they are perfect as an aperitif. They also go well with fish, shellfish and goat's cheese.