The Person: Benoit Baudry (owner)
The Place: Domaine de Cabasse on the border between Sablet and Seguret (both villages in the Cotes du Rhone Villages)
I wish I could take credit for Spec’s selling Domaine de Cabasse but, even if I’d been there, I’d have missed it. Here’s what happened: back in 1998, Spec’s owners John and Lindy Rydman were on a trip to the Rhone and were offered a morning horse back ride through the vineyards that they turned down. Instead, they went early to the hotel restaurant (think country inn) where they were scheduled to have lunch. When they went in, they noticed that the hotel/restaurant was also a wine domaine. They were offered a taste and liked the wines and ultimately ordered them for Spec’s. I would have missed tasting the wines because I have been riding a horse. I have since visited the domaine a couple of times. The food is great and I really like the wines. They make one of my favorite Cotes du Rhone Rosés, a lovely Seguret (from the other side of the Sablet border), and a fine Gigondas. And they make this incredible value of a Sablet …
Domaine de CABASSE “Les Deux Anges,” Cotes du Rhone Villages – Sablet, 2012 ($11.39)
A 13.5% alcohol. A blend of 70% Grenache, 27% Syrah, and 3% Carignan fermented in a mix of concrete and stainless steel tanks and aged in large old oak casks. Red-violet in color with well formed legs; dry, medium-full-bodied with balanced acidity and medium-chewy phenolics. Spicy, fresh, lovely dark red cherry and darker red berry (even strawberry) fruit with spice and mineral and just a bit of garrigue. Pure, precise, elegant. YUM. Great wine for cooler weather and the braised and roasted meats that go with it. Stands up to much pricier competition. BearScore: 90++.