For frugal lovers of Chateauneuf du Pape, the town of Laudun has become a gold mine. It’s a tiny Rhone village that was recently upgraded in status; it’s biting at the heals at better-known towns in the region, like Gigondas, Vinsobres, and Chateauneuf du Pape. This vineyard is in a pocket of woodland famous for its truffles.
This corner of the Rhone valley is known for its granite-scented Grenache and the smokey decadence of its Syrah. A personal favorite is from Joséphine Arnaud and her winery, Chateau Courac. Very authentic in its profile, with lavender and thyme aromatics and a full-bodied palate of decadent fruit. There is a hint of game (truffle?) and iodine in the finish, which adds a layer of complexity.