Although this wine is technically a Vin de Table, I’m calling it a Côtes du Rhône. Vin de Table is considered the low end of French wines, but Chante Cigale Cuvée de la Génestière is a wine of good quality despite this categorization. It technically doesn’t qualify to be a Côtes du Rhône because the wine producer used Tempranillo in this blend, a grape that isn’t allowed in Côtes du Rhône wine. In fact, there is quite a lot in this blend: 50% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre, 10% Marselan, 10% Tempranillo, 5% Carignan, 5% Counoise, and 5% Terret Noir. I believe that Marselan, a cross between Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache, is also not permitted as a Côtes du Rhône grape variety.
Chante Cigale is actually a very well known winery for their (you guessed it) Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and in a way they thumbed their noses at tradition to release this wine as a Vin de Table… a very bold move. They could have easily changed the blend to comply with the rules and get a more respected Côtes du Rhône designation, but winemaker Alexandre Favier did it his way despite the designation. I’m one who often has admiration for rebels, so I wanted to include this wine in my Côtes du Rhône series.
The characteristics of this wine are similar to good Côtes du Rhône wines. The nose is nice and earthy. Leather, cherry and a touch of barnyard make this one up. The palate is lively and fruity. It has great cherry and plum flavors, coupled with a peppery spice and soft tannins. This is a very enjoyable wine and one that deserves a designation more significant than Vin de Table.
Wine: Chante Cigale Cuvée de la Génestière
Varietal: Côtes du Rhône (almost)
Price Paid: $12.99