Dom Parandou Secrets du Grangeon IGP Vaucluse 18

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Sablet is another one of those villages in the South of France that you instantly fall in love with -- a place that invites you to slow down, relax, and enjoy a glass of wine at an outdoor cafe. Like its close neighbors Gigondas and Séguret, it's a pleasure to stroll through the winding lanes up stone steps from one village square to another.

Just outside of the village, you'll find close to 300 hectares of vineyards planted with Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, and Mourvèdre. White wine is made here as well; however, it currently accounts for less than 10% of the production.

Vineyards start from the northern border of Gigondas and reach the feet of the jagged Dentelles de Montmirail peaks. The terroir here is nearly identical to Gigondas, and for my money, the wines from Sablet are a great modestly-priced alternative.

The Grangeon family has been making wine at Domaine Parandou since the early 1800s, and the property has been passed down from father to son for generations. Robin Grangeon is currently in charge of the estate and continues the family winemaking tradition under the watchful eye of his father, Dennis.

The wines from Domaine Parandou are sourced and imported by my good friend and everyone's favorite Frenchman, Jean-Christian Rostagni. Since I haven't yet had the pleasure of meeting Robin Grangeon, I asked Jean-Christian to write a short note to describe Robin.

I always look forward to visiting with Robin Grangeon, one of the most upbeat people I know. Even after the big frost last year, he had not lost his seemingly always optimistic attitude, which is so "meridionale" (from the south of France,) one that goes hand in hand with pastis, pétanque, camaraderie, good food, and of course, wine. His personality is symbolized by the shirt he was wearing that day when this photograph was taken: simple and gently colorful, that brings joy to the eyes and the mind. Robin is also totally unassuming; he does not feel the need to try to impress anybody. After all, why would he want more? He lives in Sablet, a gorgeous, somewhat off-the-radar part of Provence. Here, he does what he's always wanted to do -- he makes wine that makes a difference No need to ask for more!

Insider Note: Domaine Parandou will be a stop on the 2022 AWM Customer Field Trip to France, led by Jean-Christian. We'll enjoy a meal with Robin, probably on the square in nearby Gigondas.

The Les Secrets du Parandou opens in your glass with a burst of red fruit and spice on the nose, leading to a palate brimming with kirsch and garrigue. There are subtle notes of tobacco leaf and savory herbs, and campfire that linger nicely on the palate finishing with nice lift and length. This medium-bodied red will pair well with chops, roasted game birds, burgers, and steaks.

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