What We're Drinking: Eliott & Rare Vineyards





Since joining the wine trade I have enjoyed finding wines that people don’t automatically recognise. Hidden gems that come out of nowhere and over deliver on value and blow away your expectations. I have been lucky enough to taste quite a few wines like the aforementioned yet the best find to date has undoubtedly been the Rare Vineyards Carignan Vieilles Vignes.

Admittedly it isn’t from a prestigious region like Bordeaux or Rhone and it doesn’t hold a traditional name that many associate with good French wine. The label is simple with no mention of a ‘Chateau’ or ‘Grand Cru’ (in fact upon first hearing the name ‘Rare Vineyards’ you could be excused for thinking it was from Australia, New Zealand or South Africa) yet despite its seemingly modest appearance, Rare Vineyards produce their wines in Southern France and the Carignan Vignes Vieilles is extra special.

The translation of ‘Vieilles Vignes’ is ‘Old Vines’ and the older the vine the greater the concentration of fruit. The vines for this wine are over 40-years-old and when tasting it you really do experience the high concentration of fruit. The flavours seem to last an age on the palate and with ABV being 12.5% it is very easy to drink both with food (I recommend Duck with this one) and on its own.

Another element I love about this wine is that the Carignan grape varietal isn’t one that people come across too often – the label on the bottle describes it as “a forgotten Languedoc grape” - yet when grown correctly and in the hands of the right winemaker it can create a fantastic, well bodied wine with deep, rich flavours.

Ignore the fact this wine isn’t from one of the big hitting regions of France and instead revel in the notion that most people would initially ignore this wine on a shelf, yet having tried it they’ll almost certainly endlessly recommend it to anyone who will listen. It really is a big surprise in a bottle and it will not only match your expectations but it will surpass them by blowing your socks off! 
 
To see what the other members of CellarVie Wines chose for the ‘What we’re drinking’ section and why, click on the links below.
 
Christopher - Chateau de Rully 1er Cru, Clos la Bressande 2007 
 
Sophie - Gewürztraminer Alsace 2009, Martin Zahn 

Charlotte - Kleine Zalze Bush Vines Chenin Blanc 

Ben - Flagstone Longitude 

Simon - Rare Vineyards Marsanne-Viognier 

Eliott - Veramonte Pinot Noir 

Jon - ‘Piluna’ Primitivo 

Sophie - Bourgogne Blanc 'Clos de Loyse' 2009 

Eliott - Touraine Sauvignon Domaine Trotignon  

Charlotte - 1847 Oloroso Dulce Sherry 

Simon - Errázuriz Single Vineyard Carmenère 2009 

Jon - Chardonnay Grand Cru 2008, Tenuta Rapitalà 

Christopher - Brookfield Reserve Chardonnay-Viognier 2009
 
Why not let us know what you are drinking but posting your comments in the section below... 

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