Réserve de l’Abbé Côtes du Rhône is a generous and fruit driven blend of Grenache and Syrah produced in Foncalieu’s vineyards and cellars on the right bank of the Rhône valley. This is a classic southern French red that is really satisfying, tastes great and is ready to drink right away. It is a versatile food wine and can accompany a wide variety of dishes.
In the Côtes du Rhône, Foncalieu’s primary vineyards are on the right bank (west) of the Rhône along the Cèze river which runs west to east. Along the northern bank, their Côtes du Rhône vineyards facing south are on the terraced slopes in several types of soil: alluvium, sand, limestone, clay, and some sandstone. They consistently get very ripe grapes, averaging from 13 to 15 % alcohol due to the favorable position of the vineyards. This consistent ripeness gives rich red berry flavors and aromatics that are balanced by round tannins. This wine is aged in stainless steel and concrete tanks to preserve the fresh flavors.
Reserve de l’Abbé was the name selected because it represents the quality level kept aside for the religious hierarchy. Before the 18th century, the Catholic Church owned a large proportion of the vines and the cultivation and production was in the hands of the monks in the monasteries. The « Abbé » or Abbot was the head of these monasteries and the best wines were reserved for the hierarchy of the church. Since Foncalieu sells quite a bit of their Côtes du Rhône in bulk to merchants, they save the best lots to bottle themselves – this wine is indeed a reserve. The text on the label is a fragmented excerpt from the book of Jeremiah in the old testament that was copied from an early hand painted bible and was chosen for its artwork.