A biodynamic Cotes du Rhone- Dom. Les Aphillanthes ’06

Now that I work in a natural wine bar, you’d think I’d be posting all the time about natural wines.

You’d think. But no. What have I been doing, you’re might be wondering?


photo from about.com, Michelle Wie, Solheim Cup '09

Spending all my time, now that I work nights, out on the golf course, what else? You can find me there most  afternoons now. It probably doesn’t help that the golf course is a 15 minute walk from my house and they have a driving range. So rather then waxing lyrical about this fantastic biodynamic chablis or this wonderfully complex natural Italian blend, I’ve been working on correcting my slice and chipping away in the rough. I am currently drooling over Haig Point Golf Course (where I’ll be holidaying in a few weeks) and these snappy Nike Ladies golf shoes I saw online the other day. Sad, I know.

But enough about golf ( how did I get addicted so fast?) and back to my first passion – wine.

We do winetasting in the bar every Wednesday so this week, I opened a “classic” (something we don’t have a lot of in A&V, we go for the more offbeat wines) a Cotes du Rhone from Domaine Les Aphillanthes, Vieilles Vignes 2006. Although it’s from a classic region, the wine is wholly biodynamic and produced by the innovative winemaker, Daniel Boulle. Boulle interestingly enough came to biodynamic practices in the vineyard in a roundabout way, via his son who was successfull treated for eczema with natural medical practices. This in turn encouraged Boulle to turn to biodynamic methods as they had similar philosophies. He is also a proponent of minimal intervention, transporting the wine with gravity, fermenting his wines in concrete vats and bottling without filtration, all of which are meant  to showcase the pure intense flavours of the wine.

les aphillantes

generic photo

So how did this “classic” do? 75% grenache, 15% carignan and 10% mouvedre, it was a still fairly youthful in appearance, a bright garnet in the glass,  a nose of  smoky wet wood like when you’re trying to start a fire in a rainstorm mixed with some herbiness and underlying sweet, ripe maybe even glazed cherry pie, at one point a Dolly Madison cherry fruit pie floated through into my mind. It tasted like it smelled not too multidimensional, a touch of dried herbs and cherries,  a bit drying but not acidic. I had a slice of salami with it and it was a great combo, the fruit really coming to the forefront with salami, really refreshing with an herby character peeking through at the end,  a great wine to have dinner with any night. Sometimes I find Cotes du Rhones to be too light or acidic with not enough of anything, no character just red wine but this little number has it all. A great find, well made and well worth the money. You can come on down and grab a bottle any night  from A&V.

Retail: £15.60



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