We’re back to the Rhone Valley with an exploration of the wines of Famille Perrin, seven bottlings from low-end table wines to higher-end offerings from some of the region’s finest growing areas. Let’s dive in.
2018 Famille Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve (Rose) – A seldom-seen Rhone rose, this grenache, mourvedre, syrah, and cinsault blend is bright, floral, and moderately sweet, with a marshmallow note that builds quite a bit as the palate develops. The finish is flowery, but rather innocuous. B / $11
2018 Famille Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve (Blanc) – This blend of grenache blanc, marsanne, roussanne, and viognier is classically composed. Aromatic with gentle tropical notes up front, the wine wanders its way into notes of lime leaf, grapefruit, and quince before finishing with hints of white flowers. You’ll find it available for all of 10 bucks. A- / $10
2016 Famille Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve – Surprisingly innocuous, this simple GSM blend offers plenty of fruit without ever coming across as sweet or blown out. Gentle blackberry and some strawberry notes meld with a little tea leaf and cola, with some lightly earthy character on the finish. Simple but quite refreshing, and an amazingly good value. A- / $10
2017 Famille Perrin Cotes du Rhone Villages – Grenache and syrah, soft and supple. A touch of pepper gets into the mix with ample black cherry and blackberry notes and a touch of mint. The finish is chocolaty, with just a bit of balsamic to it. Very approachable and food-friendly, and well-priced to boot. A- / $14
2017 Famille Perrin Vinsobres Les Cornuds – Hearty but approachable, this grenache-syrah blend is equal parts black berry fruit and fresh red berries, with silky tannin in the undercarriage. Notes of cola and some pepper add a touch of nuance on the finish. B+ / $19
2017 Famille Perrin Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Sinards – A GSM blend from relatively young vines. Hearty but quite bitter, this is a complex wine that needs time in glass or decanting to properly appreciate. Bold with green herbs including rosemary and thyme, the wine eventually showcases its classically beefy undercarriage, though it’s laced with ample notes of balsamic and cloves. The twist as that the body is on the whole surprisingly thin, which doesn’t let the savory components shine through nearly as clearly as they should, making for a fairly gamy, vegetal finish. B / $40
2017 Famille Perrin Gigondas La Gille – Grenache and syrah, harvested in one of the Rhone’s most prized villages. Heavy at first with currants and blackberries, this Gigondas bottling settles into a groove that finds a vein of rosemary and sage, mineral-driven graphite, and mild tannins. A pop of pepper and sweet cherries hits on the finish. A great choice for a hearty meal. A- / $35