Belleruche Rouge – a Cotes du Rhone from Domaine M. Chapoutier is made from 80% Grenache (the grape variety used primarily in Châteauneuf-du-Pape to the south) and 20% Syrah (the grape used to make the Rhône valley’s most famous red wines in Côte Rôtie, Crozes Hermitage, Hermitage, and St Joseph to the north). Chapoutier is known for his wines that bring upwards of three figures, but this one, and its blanc and rosé sisters, are an affordable $11.99 or so.
One of the things that will stand out when you see this bottle is the braille label. The label is produced in homage to one of France’s favorite sons, Maurice de la Sizeranne – blind since the age of 9, and one of France’s most famous philanthropists of the 19th century. Braille appears on each of the wineries labels, including Chapoutier’s highest end wines.
Sizerrane is known for his interest in literature for the blind, and founded the Revue du Braille, as well as perfecting the system of abbreviated Braille widely used today in France. Sizerrane also owned a small parcel of land where Michel Chapoutier sources the fruit from one of the Chateau’s most famous wines.
This is a great dinner wine, but works well as a sipper because of the medium body. Spice, pepper, nice acidity. We’ve paired it with chili, chicken, pork and charcuterie.
And to think you get all of that history in a well balanced, fruity, spicy $11.99 bottle! Highly recommended.