2016 Domaine des Escaravailles "La Ponce" Rasteau SKU #1382357

Price: $24.99

JD 95 RP 93 WE 91
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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

The domaine of Escaravailles was founded in 1953 by Jean-Louis Ferran and his sons Daniel and Jean-Pierre. It takes its name from the Occitan dialect of escaravay - which means scarab beetle - the local nickname for the peoples of the village of Rasteau in 1623. Currently run by Gilles Ferran, son of Daniel, the vineyards run primarily through Rasteau and extend into Cairanne, Roaix and Saint Roman de Malegarde. The vineyards are farmed using sustainable and organic practices and all grapes are manually harvested. Phillippe Cambie, one of the great winemakers of the Rhone, consults on the winemaking. La Ponce is made up of 80% Grenache Noir and 20% Syrah from the steepest clay and stony hillsides.

Staff Reviews

  • William Beare
    By: William Beare
    1/12/2019
    K&L Staff Member
    One whiff and this wine clamors for your attention-- and deservedly so. Tapenade, pepper, and wild berry fruit tumble forth, with that fruit taking the lead onto the palate with a wonderful silky texture. Graphite and earth on the close, with some herbal qualities (sweet anise) that linger through the finish. Fantastically well-balanced for a sub $30 red!
  • Kaj Stromer
    By: Kaj Stromer
    1/8/2019
    K&L Staff Member
    I first learned about this winery many years ago from a client of mine. He had the wine recommended to him by the sommelier at a well respected restaurant. I ordered a case for my client and he gave me a bottle to try. Considering that the market was saturated with southern Rhone wines, I could not initially understand why we needed another. However, once I tried the wine I immediately understood why this wine was such a stand out. With the steady hand of winemaker Philippe Cambie overseeing the process, Escaravailles produces distinctively delicious southern Rhone blends. This Grenache / Syrah combo offers up beautiful red fruits intermingled with hints of dark chocolate, licorice and spice. The wine possesses real power and will benefit from either a few winters in the cellar or an hour long wake in the decanter. This wine is sure to please either in its youth or with some age.
  • Keith Mabry
    By: Keith Mabry
    1/8/2019
    K&L Staff Member
    Years ago, the distinctive scarab beetle on the label of the Escaravailles was a mark of great cost-to-quality when I was shopping for my Rhone wines. It has been some time since we've seen it broadly in the market, as it bounced around through a few different importers though, but what a joy to have it return in the form of one of their best wines to date. The domaine is based in Rasteau which is quickly emerging as a region to watch. The gravelly and limestone soils mimic some of the best sub-regions Chateauneuf has to offer but at a well-reduced price. Add consulting winemaker extraordinaire Phillippe Cambie and you have a dead ringer for Clos Saint Jean or Clos des Papes, again at a fraction of the price. Rich and borderline hedonistic, this wine smacks of boysenberries and melted licorice. Savory spice notes intermingle with flavors of hoisin sauce and cardamom. It is opulent. But in the best way imaginable. This is a fully realized fleshy red from this up and coming region and one of its top producers!

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