Some of the most famous French wines in the world are called Cotes du Rhone, or “from the hillsides of the Rhone (river).” There are many grapes grown in the Rhone River Valley, but the primary grapes found in wines from this region are Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. If someone says they really like a GSM Blend, those are the grapes used to make that wine: G for Grenache, S for Syrah, and M for Mourvedre. Although GSM was made famous in France, you’ll find these blends all over the world, most notably in Australia, and more recently in California, where the “Rhone Rangers” movement took off in the late 1990s, spearheaded by the Cline family.
Fred and Nancy Cline were the original Rhone Rangers, sharing a passion for GSM Blends starting in 1998, and selling a lot of them over the years! If you have never tried a GSM Blend, the 2017 Cashmere would be a great place to start. I often find myself turning to GSM wines when I want something different; it’s easy to get into a rut when so many California wines taste the same. There’s nothing wrong with the bold, ripe, plum, cassis and blackberry flavors of most California red blends, but variety is the spice of life!
The 2017 Cashmere Red Wine is a really delicious change of pace. Instead of powerful black fruit flavors, you get mostly red: raspberry and cherry, with a hint of blackberry, and a really interesting peppery tingle that opens into dark chocolate and cracked pepper on the finish. This is an elegant wine with ample fruit flavors, but I really like the dry finish, and it pairs extremely well with Mediterranean dishes and spices like chicken paella, or hummus with red pepper.
On my five-cork scale based on taste and value the 2017 Cashmere Red Wine gets 3.9 corks! It’s a delicious change of pace, and available locally for around $17 a bottle, and sometimes less. Give it a try! It could become your new favorite.
If you’d like to try interesting wines like this, please join me at our next private wine party coming soon! I host a wine dinner nearly every month, and we feature several interesting wines, each paired with a delicious course. There are always cool prizes to win, too, so listen Wednesday at 4:15 to win your spot on the guest list, or click here for a chance to win!