Tasting the wines of Camile Wallut, of Domaine Saint Amant, gives a feeling that you are tasting something very pure, wholesome, from scratch, if you will. Completely organic, hand-harvested, simply pressed, racked and aged in neutral wood, her wines are perfect representations of high elevation Rhône red wine. For wines from the south of France, Domaine Saint Amant ranks pretty high on my list for both red and white because on a trip a few years ago, I finally realized what makes the difference in the ocean of wine that is the Côtes du Rhône. You’ve got to climb. That’s right, the great wine in the Rhône is always at elevation, the higher the better.
The incredible estate of Saint Amant, is the highest in the southern Rhône. Here, the windswept vines of Grenache, Syrah and Viognier are 1800 feet, rooted in mineral shale and limestone soil. The combination of organic farming, a super-long growing season, the mineral soil and that dizzying elevation, allows for wine that is hedonistically fruity but light on its feet, the real test of world-class full-bodied red wine. The wine is purple, edging to black to the brim, with an amazing nose of violets, black cherries and spice. The fruit is juicy, complex but finishes dry, fresh and long. Think Chateauneuf in the glass but with a Tuesday night price tag….fantastic.
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Think Chateauneuf in the glass but with a Tuesday night price tag….fantastic.
The perfect accompaniment to a holiday feast or leg of lamb.