In a nutshell: A wonderful, rich and concentrated, biodynamic Southern Rhone red from a top producer.
The lowdown: Domaine Richaud have a justified reputation for producing fine, excellent wines in the Southern Rhone. Run along biodynamic principles the family's ethos is about allowing the true expression of the fruit and vineyards to shine through. Now run by Marcel Richaud's three children, the sixth generation of the family to make wine, the estate still sees itself stylistically of having commonality with Burgundy's Côte d'Or, rather than "the over-extracted wines of the South". This 2017 Rasteau is really rather good. The aromas are big and pronounced with raspberry, redcurrant, brambly fruit notes with hints of spice and tobacco. The palate is full, rich and concentrated with great depth and complexity, there's a freshness and the wine is in balance, with warm spice lingering on the long finish. Excellent alternative to a good Gigondas or Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
When to drink: This wine is rich and vibrant now though will keep for several more years. Try with mild curries, roast gammon, or Welsh rarebit.
Domaine Richaud, situated in the heart of Cairanne, has a reputation for producing some of the finest wines of the Southern Rhône, characterised by bright fruit, superb balance and great drinkability. Marcel Richaud, who took over the estate in 1974, is the fifth generation of his family to make wine. And soon after doing so he moved awat from the local cooperative and started making and bottling his own wines. Stylistically, he sees himself as having more in common with Burgundy's Côte dOr than with what he describes as 'the over-extracted wines of the South' and for him the leaving the fruit to express itself as naturally as possible is the main objective. Today his daughters Claire and Édith and son Thomas run the family domaine and their approach is to allow the true expression of the fruit and the vineyards to shine through in the glass. All 30 hectares of Richaud's meticulously kept vineyards are certified organic.