Domaine de l'Agramante, "M'Arricriu" Côtes-du-Rhône 2020
Grenache-Syrah Blend｜Rhône, France
We're all-in on this lovely, pitch-perfect Cotes-du-Rhone rouge from the supremely talented natural winemaker phenom Carlos La Rocca!
Originally from Sicily, proprietor Carlos La Rocca quit his job as a chemical engineer to move to the bucolic south of France to start life over as a winemaker, settling in Sabran, nestled in the hills between Orange and Nîmes, part of the southern Rhône expanse.
This cuvée “M’Arricriu” (Sicilian dialect for "I enjoy life") is a blend of mostly Grenache, with a medley of Syrah, Cinsault, and Counoise all backing up a juicy, unmistakably Mediterranean natural red. Bold, sauvage notes of dark plums, Indian spices, blue flowers, mint-chocolate, and bay leaf lead to a pleasingly chewy finish that's pure and unadulterated by new oak or massive syrupy fruit.
La Rocca's former career working in petrochemicals led him to fully embrace the "natural" side of things in his newfound calling as a winemaker. He's hands-on with everything at his tiny four-hectare plot of vineyards, vinifying this cuvée completely in concrete (no wood to be seen), resulting in a pure, raw expression of the hilly expanse of Sabran in the southern Rhône. This 2020 marks his third successive vintage and if it’s any indication, he’s got a very bright future ahead!
Organic farming has been practiced from the outset, and full certification is underway; every process is totally natural and chemical-free. No herbicides or any other harmful “cides” are used – he ferments all naturally, harvests by hand, and the wines are barely sulfured at bottling, resulting in as pure a cuvée as you’ll find.
Chewy, fragrant, and just absolutely delicious, this $25 Rhône red completely over-performs for the money!