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Piaugier Sablet

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Country/State France

Region Rhone

Subregion Sablet

Vineyard/Proprietary Piaugier

Type Wine

Read About the Wine

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Domaine de Piaugier is one of those little but great French wine discoveries: an everyday wine you don’t find every day.

The terroir of the wine is exceptional, being situated in Sablet at the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail. Cotes du Rhone has a hierarchy of vineyards going from Cotes du Rhone, Cotes du Rhone Villages, and then named villages, the most famous being Chateauneuf du Pape. And while Chateauneuf du Pape is the most famous – and most expensive – I would argue that Piaugier’s Sablet is every little bit the powerhouse contender to its more famous village brethren.

Piaugier’s vines have never seen pesticides or herbicides, having long since learned how to survive in this climate without man-made interference or assistance. The fruit is harvested by hand at the moment it reaches the optimal balance between freshness and ripe concentration. This philosophy of farming is easy to understand – the best wines are made from the best grapes. Treat Mother Nature appropriately – give her space, give her love, give her respect – and she’ll reward you with bountiful produce in return.

Wine making like this barely exists today – these prime grapes are gently pressed, racked into concrete tanks, and allowed to ferment with natural yeast from the vineyards. When finished fermenting, the wine is racked into old casks and left to settle for a year until bottling. There are no additives, preservatives, or other human meddling; this is just grape juice turned into wine, Nature’s way. And what a wine it is:

This kind of wine is why the French drink daily. Yes, there are aromas of black currants, a huge amount of ripe blueberry fruit, red cherries, a touch of nutmeg and hints of sous bois. It’s primarily Grenache, which delivers all this upfront aromatic pleasure. But there is more. Just like in Chateauneuf du Pape, this wine is a blend, adding in Syrah. The result is complexity across the palate – there is a depth of flavor here to explore, making each glass a bit different, yet lovingly familiar, like a series of gorgeous sunsets.

This wine is truly one of those great daily drinking finds: It doesn’t overwhelm or try to impress. It just tastes darn good and fits with any occasion – and will continue to do so for at least 10 more years. For those of you contemplating starting a wine cellar (or already have one) here is a delicious wine to drink now, yet hold onto in order to enjoy the full arc of its long life.

This domaine is small and the importer is a tough man to get a hold of – we get Piaugier’s wines only occasionally, sometimes not for years (this is our first offer ever on this wine of Piaugier’s). Get it while the getting is good because it’s such a beautiful wine.