The Domaine Lafond Cotes du Rhone Rouge is a blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah sourced from two vineyards in the Southern Rhone Valley. Since French wines are all about “terroir” (the effects the weather and the soil have on the wine), one vineyard was rocky with clay soil and the other was sandy with pebbles, the different soils will add different characteristics to the wine. Domaine Lafond is a family owned winery that has been in business since 1780 and in 2010 the vineyards were certified organic. The wine blend is aged in stainless steel and cement vats, no oak barrels and the alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is a dark, dusky rose. The nose is a combination of fresh, juicy raspberry and the aroma of walking into a spice shop. It tastes of tart strawberry and black cherry and then the pepper, licorice, herbs and spice kick in. The mid palate adds a light touch of raspberry and milk chocolate. This is a wine that is not afraid to show its structure, the tannins are firm and the acidity is on display, but balanced. There are as many astringent, herbal flavors as there are lush fruit flavors. The finish is subtle and lengthy.
The Domaine Lafond Cotes du Rhone Rouge is a very solid example of what is wonderful about the wines of the Cote du Rhone, tasty and easy to drink, but with a little bit more depth and complexity than you usually see in wines that sell in the $12 to $15 range.