Saint-Damien VdF Rouge ‘Le Dix’ 2019 $14.99
Now, our next Rhône bottling is a bit more curious. ‘Le Dix’ from Domaine Saint Damien comes to us from one of our favorite producers in Gigondas, the region’s second most important terroir. Though nearly all reds from this area contain some combination of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and/or Carignan, Le Dix is a humble country red made from two rare varieties, both with genetic roots related to Grenache. The Saurel family has been working the vineyards of Gigondas for decades, having received an official organic certification in 2012.
Though the Saurel’s Gigondas bottlings are known for their black fruits, chewy tannins, and savory herbal undertones, Le Dix strikes a different note, with a more red-fruited, floral expression of their Southern Rhône terroir. Notes of bright red cherries, violet, and earth dominate the tasting experience. The wine’s tannins are softer than most from this area, and the freshness on the finish makes for a highly-versatile wine for the table. Though Le Dix would pair beautifully with any kind of cold-weather fare, we particularly love it with our recipe for Scallion Pancakes with Roast Duck.
Saint Damien’s Le Dix, is a 50/50 blend of two relatively unknown varieties, Marselan and Caladoc. Both are genetic crosses based on Grenache, with Marselan being a cross between Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon, and Caladoc being a cross between Grenache and Malbec. Though the wine drinks much like a lighter Rhône Grenache, subtle hints can be found to its other parent varieties, from the herbal nature of Cabernet to the riper characteristics of Malbec. Le Dix is aged exclusively in concrete to promote both microoxygenation and purity of fruit.