Updated: Jan 7, 2021
I love this time of year, when the subtle change of season is upon us. Slowly we can see the leaves changing, temperature dropping and nights getting darker. With each flickering of burning candles and crunch of newly fallen leaves it is officially the start of cosy season...
I feel Autumn is the best time of the year. Tans from summer are still present, gardens still have sprinklings of colour from the more determined plants and the joys of the months just been with the clean slate of a new academic year allow for happiness and peace to settle in with the fall.
The playful summer dresses are swapped for chunky knits, the golden tones appearing on the trees and the warm summer sun is dimming to a beautiful glow. In my garden the brambles and apples have come out which has made me very busy in the kitchen. Last week, I decided to spend the day enjoying my home, making Apple Pie and Beef Stroganoff and accompanying this with a beautiful Côte du Rhone Village.
Beef Stroganoff is a heavy dish full of flavours. The mustard, tomatoes, pepper and beef stock are all rich and need a weighted wine to strike the perfect balance. This wine did exactly that. The spice, vanilla, leather and black fruit characteristics with the full bodied nature of this wine made the perfect partner for this dish.
This wine is produced by Michel Chapoutier, a excellent Maison from the Côte Rôtie area of the Northern Rhone region. This translates to 'the roasted slopes' which gives a picture of the terroir of the area. Côte Rôtie produces wines which are spicy, very full bodied with a beautifully deep colour. The best wine here benefit from a wonderful aromatic freshness.
The Côte Rôtie hug the hillsides around the valley and is slowly taking over Hermitage in the amount of wine being produced. Michel Chapoutier Maison has a long standing history and reputation dating back to 1808. The Maison has deep rooted values including printing brail on every bottle of wine and using biodynamic wine making techniques since 1991. This stemmed from Michel Chapoutier's love for the terroir.
The soil in which this wine was produced has been treated with biodynamic farming techniques. The vines sit on south facing slopes providing the perfect opportunity for the Syrah grape to benefit from the sun and ripen to produce floral yet powerful characteristics.
The grapes, due to local landscape, are all hand harvested and are fermented for 3-4 weeks then aged for 16-18 months. 80% of this is aged in new oak barrels and 20% are aged in stainless steel to preserve fruitiness. This is then blended to create the perfect balance and achieve the desired style.
This wine was beautiful. Achieving 4.1 stars on Vivino I would recommend this and buy it again. At £9 from tesco this wine was a steal, Vintage years cost closer to £80. The pairing of the rich Beef Stroganoff and this beautifully balanced wine was the perfect ending to a cosy day.
Followed with a warm slice of Apple Crumble and custard, it is safe to say Autumn is definitely creeping in... and I can't wait.