Price: $18.95 per 750ml
Channel: LCBO Vintages (#948059)
Producer: Famille Perrin
Appellation: Côtes du Rhône
Grapes: Grenache, Syrah
Alcohol by Volume: 13%
Sugar Content: 2 grams per litre
The Perrin family is one of the most prominent wine concerns in the Southern Rhône valley. They are the owners of the renown Château de Beaucastel in Châteauneuf-du-Pape as well as the producers of the ubiquitous La Veille Fèrme label. And they straddle much levels of wine in between. The ‘Nature’ line is made with 100% organic grapes, sourced from the northwest edge of the Côtes-du-Rhône appellation. The family claims to be the region’s biggest producer of organic wine, but the green and white label of the 2019 Famille Perrin Nature Côtes du Rhône suggest this label is specifically targeted at consumers looking for wines that are particularly friendly to their bodies and their planet.
In Hungover, author Shaunghessy Bishop-Stall puts forward his theory that many red wine headaches can be avoided if the imbiber switches to organic wines. Most organic growers I have met have said they switched from conventional to organic farming to protect their families who lived next to the vines (and their workers in them) from what was sprayed. There are lots of wines that are made from grapes that are farmed sustainably, but I find it reassuring to know with some certainty when a wine hasn’t been subjected to a chemical shower before being crushed into what will end up in my glass. If the Perrin Nature label is about marketing, then it works for me.
Happily, the 2019 Perrin Nature also works for me on the palate. This wine has energy with a big and bright Grenache attack and a deep Syrah finish (or so I imagine). Some violets on the nose, then clean blackberry and currant fruit, with a touch of sandy tannin to hold it all together. This is a big red, but it’s light on its feet with acidity and wants food, like a winter’s stew, or a chile. At $19 it’s hitting well above its weight as a simple Côtes du Rhône. Comparatively, Perrin does not make a lot of the Nature bottles, and the Ontario allotment was small. Look for this wine while it lasts.