Clos Bellane 2019 “La Petite Bellane” Côtes du Rhône Villages ($15.99)
Certified organic, fermented with indigenous yeast, and fermented and aged in concrete vats with no oak exposure, La Petite Bellane is dark purple in color almost all the way to a thin, clear edge. After a little time in the glass it woke up to delicious aromas of blackberries, plums, and blackcurrant, with a distinct note of fresh-ground pepper in the background. Mixed black fruits on the palate are shaped by crisp acidity and a backdrop of soft but persistent tannins that linger with the fruit into a long finish. Its 14.5% alcohol shows as a touch of warmth, but as the wine opens with airing the alcohol falls into perspective in a wine of appealing complexity. An excellent Côtes du Rhône Villages, idiosyncratic for its all-Syrah blend. U.S. importer: Skurnik Wines, NYC. (Nov. 26, 2022)
FOOD MATCH: The importer suggests pairing it with beef or lamb, and that makes sense. It was good, too, with a pasta dish with tomatoes and Italian sausage with fennel and garlic, although a bit of piquant heat in the pasta sauce wasn’t overly friendly with the wine’s alcoholic edge.
WHEN TO DRINK: I expect it to keep and possibly improve under good cellar conditions for five years or so.
I got this bottle for a couple of bucks under Wine-Searcher.com’s $28 average U.S. retail. It’s a fine table red and a fair bargain right up to the $20 range.
Here’s a detailed tech sheet from importer Skurnik Wines.
FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Check prices and find vendors for La Petite Bellane on Wine-Searcher.com.
Read more about the Côtes du Rhône Villages at this Wine-Searcher link, where you’ll find listings for dozens of wines of the region.
Follow this Wine-Searcher link to read about the Syrah grape and browse wines of this variety from around the world.