Counoise is the light bodied red wine you will love (but have never heard of)
Here I am again harking on about a varietal that never gets much attention, a varietal that gets lost in blends, only for a few brave winemakers to come along and prove the world wrong by making sublime wines using that grape and nothing else. It is a beauty of new world wine thinking, that you can do pretty much whatever you want to. Rules be damned! And yet you still pay homage, nod your head, tilt your hat, to the great traditions that have come before you. Its fucking heroic is what it is. It brings wine to life, and brings happiness to the people who drink it.
Counoise is the light bodied wine hero we need right now!
One such hero in our "Wine Marvel" universe is Counoise. Counoise is a light bodied red wine that is not too different from any other lighter red wines, and yet something so completely out there that it feels extraordinary. At first glance nothing really stands out, a spectacled wearing photo journalist, but somehow they manage to capture some really kick ass photographs of Spiderman. With Counoise its a lighter body, but its still comes off as being really dark. Once you get to know it you realize there is something more, something deeper, and its just wild. Who would have thought this wine was capable of genius level intellect, super human strength, and a witty attitude that makes comic book fans love it for generations.
What if we never got to hear of Counoise's existence? Mind blown!
Think about what Spiderman would be like if he had not gotten the attention he deserves in his own comic. What if he was a background character in the X-Men? Never given the chance to really develop his feuds with the Green Goblin, his love interest with Mary Jane. Thats kind of what Counoise has been for years, one of 14 different varieties allowed in the legendary Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine. Its only been in the hands of some super daring, crafty, and somewhat rebellious winemakers that Counoise has been able to break away from its CDP herd. Think of a super hero that was maybe too skinny, too scrawny, kind of a pissant, and definitely incapable of standing up by itself. Boy were they fucking wrong!
What's the truth about Counoise? Its downright delicious!
In the past Counoise was like a dash of pepper, quite literally in fact. It added some spice and character to the CDP mix. It was thought that Counoise could not hold a candle to the wind on its own because it is a very delicate, thin skinned grape. As a single varietal however, its is anything but thin skinned. As a wine it is pretty dark in color while still remaining light bodied. Its peppery notes give you a sharp and hilarious wit that is accompanied by a finesse that makes it a wine worth drinking whatever your mood. Its lighthearted, funny, and charming but is still strong and appealing. As far as light bodied red wines go, Counoise is extraordinary and fun. It could take down Lizard, The Kingpin, Venom, and Carnage all in one night, get some great photos that will piss of J. Jonah Jameson, and still get an upside down make out session with the hottest redhead in the universe, Ms. Mary Jane Watson. Yeh, Counoise is pretty cool for your friendly neighborhood red wine.
So what were we drinking that inspired this heroic tale?
Well you have to give it up to the real heroes of our story, the folks who go out and prove everybody wrong and make amazing these amazing wines. This little love affair started with a couple of bottles of Counoise from the Enso Urban winery in Portland over a year ago.
Because Counoise is such a rare wine to find as a single varietal it took a hell of a lot of searching to find another winemaker who could really handle it. Then we stumbled across the awesome Broc Cellars 2015 Counoise from Eaglepoint Ranch. A must have for fans of natural wine, this Counoise was actually more medium bodied, and had notes of white pepper and a gentle acidity that made it super approachable, easily drinkable, and downright fun to share. Its worth getting your hands on a few bottles as this wine is definitely going to become a go-to for some of us at Vynl.