2014 Domaine Grande Bellane Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge
There’s no tangible proof that organically grown grapes make better wines. What I do know is that the people who care enough about the soil to treat it well tend to provide swell grapes. Exhibit A: the 2014 Domaine Grande Bellane Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge ($15), a plummy, grapey, spicy, peppery delight. The same family has owned the land since 1919 and incorporated organic practices more than three decades ago. The texture and mouthfeel on this French red blend (grenache, syrah, carignan) are sublime, thick but smooth and even a bit graceful. It’s an ideal red-meat wine, from venison to hamburgers, but also would play beautifully with the winter squashes gracing our farmers markets these days. BILL WARD
Available at South Lyndale, Lakeside, Lowry Hill, Wine Republic, Stinson, France 44 and Tessa’s Office (Rochester).