Browse Tag


The Principauté of moments

Charvin 2007 Vin de Pays Principauté d’Orange “à côté” (Rhône) – Easygoing Provençal warmth, not a bit of it about “fruit” as such, but more about a farmhouse-dotted countryside and a slower way of life. (7/11)

Poutet tang

[vineyard]Charvin 2004 Côtes-du-Rhône “Le Poutet” (Rhône) – Reliably solid, basic Côtes-du-Rhône aromas of underbrush, slightly desiccated red fruit, and that faded combination of earth and animal that transcends brett to become a regional signature. But this isn’t really a rote Rhône, either…instead, it’s a sensitive, very pure expression of what is always a forceful aromatic package done with delicacy and restraint. It’s still a southerly wine, with all the richness that implies by its context, but in that context it’s just a little bit lighter than air. This is the sort of wine of which one could drink rather a quantity. (12/09)

Don’t squeeze the Charvin

[vine]Charvin 2006 Vin de Pays Principauté d’Orange “à côté” (Rhône) – If the Charvin Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a concerto, and the Côtes-du-Rhône is the orchestra without the soloist, this is the first scribbling of the composer on an otherwise blank page. Suggestions of Rhône-osity come in the form of dark, earthy undertones, a bit of leather and smoke, a hint of herb…but none of these ideas are developed or fleshed out. In other words, the wine lives up to its position in the hierarchy. It’s quite drinkable and seems admirably unspoofy, but this is a wine for enjoyable quaffing en pichet in an Avignon bistro, not for shipping across the ocean to acquire a series of markups and a marketing budget. Still, if you have to drink something, you could do a lot worse. A lot worse. (1/09)

Don’t squeeze the Charvin

[vine]Charvin 2007 Côtes-du-Rhône Rosé (Rhône) – Beautiful. It tastes nothing like a light pink version of some meaty, boisterous Côtes-du-Rhône. Instead, there’s delicacy and precision, with a lightness to what is unquestionably ripe strawberry-focused fruit, minerality, and transparency. There are no signs of alcohol, at all. The loveliest rosé I’ve had this summer. (8/08)