Inspired by an increase of Oregon Rhone producers this year at last weekend’s San Francisco Rhone Rangers two day event, and now looking forward to the incredible Hospice du Rhone , tonight I cracked open this Counoise, a lesser known red Rhone varietal, I received as a sample.
This was amongst some other creative varietals, I received from Cana’s Feast ( including a Syrah I liked so much I drank before I could review and must replenish.) I have to confess I wasn’t aware of Cana’s Feast prior to the samples, am very impressed, and plan a visit next time I am in the Willamette Region.
About Cana’s Feast
Located in a Tuscan-inspired winery, just a few blocks side edffects of prednisone north of downtown Carlton, Cana’s Feast Winery combines Northwest red wines with Mediterranean-style food, hospitality and celebration. In addition to the winery, there is a restaurant: Cucina, offering menus of Mediterranean-inspired cuisine for weekend lunch, brunch and dinner. I almost drooled on the keyboard looking at the April brunch menu.
Counoise is not a widely planted varietal, in the US nor in France. It is one of the varietals allowed in a Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but accounts for less than 1% of plantings. Tablas Creek, a leading California Rhone producer and viticulturist, brought Counoise cuttings from Château de Beaucastel in 1990 and they spent three years in USDA inspection. Once the vines cleared quarantine, they began the process of multiplying and grafting, and currently have 5 acres planted.
So little is planted in California its not listed in any of the 2009 California Grape acreage reports, even though obscure grapes like Carmenere, Carnelian, and Charbono, are.
The grape is normally blended to add acidity and some spice. The few single varietals I have had (Frick Winery in Dry Creek Valley makes an excellent single varietal as well as blend.) have been quite a pleasure to drink.
Review: Cana’s Feast, 2009 Counoise, Coyote Canyon, Columbia Valley WA
Color: Medium Purple, mostly clear
In the Mouth: Soft and balanced, yet not lacking structure. Strawberry, red fruit, hint of spice. Good mouth feel and wonderful lingering acidity.
Where to Buy: Online. $25 (media sample) 116 cases
Food Pairing: Very drinkable solo, or pairing with grilled non spicey fare, roasted chicken, heartier fish.
Rating: Outstanding. 91 points.
Recommendation: Buy. Drinks very well now. Enough structure and acidity to lay down for a few years as well.
Wine Geek Info:
- Brix: 25.6
- pH: 3.64
- TA: .56
- Alcohol: 14.9
- Harvested: 10/6/2009
- Bottled: Sept. 2010
- Vinification: Destemmed, 3 day cold soak 1/2 open top fermentors, 2x punchdowns. Pressed into 1 year old and neutral barrels.