Côtes du Rhônes are a dime a dozen these days. They’re cheap, plentiful, and abundant — you’ll find them everywhere from a fine restaurant to your local supermarket. Most are mass produced, with low tannin and lots of fruit — they may lack flaws, but they’re short on character too.
Eric Chauvin’s wines share a region and grape varietal with these Côtes du Rhônes, but little else. Chauvin’s tiny Domaine le Souverain has no website, no road sign, and barely a phone number — his cellar is a converted garage. But his wines have more complexity and depth than nearly anything else we taste at their level, and manage to remain a bargain.
Chauvin’s wines pulsate with life and energy, a result of his low-intervention style and careful organic viticulture. They drink more like a Gigondas of Vacqueyras than their Côtes du Rhône pricing suggests. And after nearly half a year of being out of stock, we’ve finally got his Séguret back in the warehouse.
Chauvin’s 2019 Séguret is just beautiful. The nose is dark and inky with notes of tobacco, crushed berries, lavender, and a cool earthiness. The mouth is rich and ripe but beautifully balanced, with vibrant tannic texture, clean dark fruit, and a faint smokiness in the nose.
Class up your takeout pizza or your next plate of pasta — or just unwind with a glass on a weeknight after work. It’s a buck or two more than your drugstore Côtes-du-Rhône, but it’s worlds away in quality.
Souverain Séguret 2019
bottle price: $19
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