Louis Max 'Max' Cotes-du-Rhone Grenache-Syrah 2018
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Syrah or shiraz, as Aussies like to call it, is one of the world’s oldest grapes. So it was on our list of must-haves from France, its natural birthplace. We were certainly in luck when we found this beauty blended with one of our favourite grapes grenache! When we sat with Claire the wine maker from Louis Max for a tasting, we knew we had struck gold! Louis Max was founded in 1859 in Burgundy but then soon expanded their interests to mostly south eastern regions of France, including the Rhone Valley, the origins of this wonderful wine.
The grapes for the Max were cultivated on very old wine making soils in the heart of the iconic Rhone Valley. Wine making in this region predates the Roman Empire and its rich soil and climate are ideal for producing rustic, fruit driven wines often blending syrah, grenache and mourvedre grapes. Australia’s own Barossa and McLaren Vale wine regions have often used this age-old Rhone blend to produce such wines. But with the Max, don’t think Aussie. The Max is a near 50/50 split of hand picked syrah and grenache fruit, superbly showcasing the Rhone terroir. It’s super easy to drink, a touch more delicate than the Aussie equivalent. Its colour is ruby, and the nose is full of fresh prunes and cherries. The tannins are as smooth as a new born’s skin, the palate has good length and is like a fresh fruit explosion in your mouth. There are also loads of earthy notes which gives it a rustic feel and perhaps separates it a little further again from similar blends produced in Australia.
This wine has been so well produced that we thought Claire more of a magician than winemaker! You could cellar this wine for another 5 years or so to develop it further, but good luck with that as you won’t be able to keep your hands off it! We matched it with a pork and fennel spicy sausage pasta (click for recipe), and we were in rustic heaven!
Popsy & JJ tasted and food matched August 2019
Try it with...
Thai red curry with beef
Pork and fennel spicy sausage pasta