Château Mont-Thabor Côtes-du-Rhône 2009

Mont Thabor - CDR Label

A gorgeous, soulful Côtes-du-Rhône from Daniel Stehelin at Château Mont-Thabor.

It’s quite fitting that this wine is our very first Wine of the Month, as Mont-Thabor was the first producer to become a part of the RDV portfolio.  I met Daniel through mutual friends that are also winemakers right across the street in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.  His was the very first estate that I visited on my very first buying trip in January of 2011.

To say that Daniel Stehelin is one of the nicest, kindest men I’ve ever met is a real understatement.  When you arrive at Mont-Thabor after walking down the gravel road that leads you there from the Route National in B, you are greeted first by his dog ’6A.’ (The dog’s name sounds like ‘Cesar,’ but it’s actually the French pronunciation of the mountain classification ‘six-A.’)  The only thing more gentle than 6A’s warm greeting is Daniel, himself.

The wine that Daniel makes very much fits his personality.  ‘From the heart’ often comes to mind when I taste his wines.  They are always both ripe and complex, and they leave the taster no mystery as to where the wines are made.  They are true, authentic Rhône Valley through and through.

This Côtes-du-Rhône bottling is from grapes grown about as close to Châteauneuf as they can be without being Châteauneuf.  It’s a blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Carignan, and 10% Mourvèdre.  On the nose, I find aromas of kirsch, dried fruits, and garrigue.  There is great mouthfeel and length on the palate.  The tannins are there, but they’re ripe and they preserve the memory of the wine long after it leaves your mouth.

It’s my hope that you’ll find a bottle of this wine and enjoy it at the table with simple food…a roasted chicken, a winter stew, or grilled vegetables.  At our house, we also really like it with a big slice of New York-style pizza or pasta with tomato sauce.