Vinous Media 91 points, Wine Advocate 90 points!
Saladin Loi Cotes du Rhone is a gorgeous red wine gem of Grenache, Carignan and Syrah. Domaine Saladin is certified organic and practicing biodynamic farming. The Saladin sisters took over the family Domaine Saladin in Saint-Marcel-d'Ardèche from their parents twelve years ago, as it has been passed down from fathers to sons and father to daughters since 1422, producing wines in conformity with organic principles. Marie-Laurence, 35, is trained in agriculture engineering; Elisabeth, 33, has a diploma in commerce. Vivacious, enthusiastic and with strong convictions, they head the small domaine of 18 hectares, worked primarily on terraced red "galets" on the right bank of the southern Rhône.
"Loï", the Provençal nickname for Louis, is named after its creator, Louis Saladin. It also pays tribute to Saint Louis, "Looïs," an adversary of Sultan Saladin during the 13th century crusades. Predominantly Grenache (red and white) rounded off by some Syrah and Carignan with Southern exposure, from a plot of argillaceous limestone soil, bordered by pine trees and brooms. The 40-year-old vines yield 35 hectolitres per hectare. Grapes are hand-picked and the Grenache and Carignan are blended in small vats. A short semi-carbonic maceration takes place with no chemical additives except for a very limited amount of sulphite, then the wine is aged for nine months in concrete tanks.
"Vivid ruby-red. Smoke-accented blackberry and cherry scents pick up floral and mineral nuances with air. Supple and gently sweet on the palate, offering sappy red and blue fruit and peppery spice flavors and a touch of candied licorice. Opens up very nicely on a juicy, expansive and very persistent finish that's framed by supple, even tannins."-Josh Raynolds, Vinous Media, 91 points!
Enjoy Saladin Loi Cotes du Rhone with lamb chops, skirt steak, burgers and grilled vegetables.