What first struck me, as always, about this wine was the incredible texture of this wine. It's a cliché, I know, but it's like a meal in itself but not so heavy that you can't leave the table: roast beef with all the trimmings but no going back for more. The fruit is there, of course, but it really only sets in on the second glass (or, at least, that's how long it took me to get over the depth of the texture) and its very deep. That seems to be the mot juste for this wine. Given that there are plenty of Tradition cuvées around this price tag, it's something of a bargain to find a prestige label under £20! Or it is if the quality is there which in this case it is.
Simple labels adorn the bottles of these highly effective and enjoyable wines which have a distinct nod to the northern Rhône and even Burgundy and Bandol despite their southern Rhône setting. Described by Robert Parker as ‘one of the best estates in the entire Rhône Valley’, Domaine Ste-Anne has been in the Steinmaier family since 1965 when it was bought as a holiday home for this Burgundian family. Guy Steinmaier quickly recognised the potential of the 12 hectares of vines and set about replanting them. Now under the stewardship of his son Jean, who studied winemaking in Beaune before taking over in 1977, they have remained consistent throughout making remarkably un-Parkerised wines (that is to say, these are elegant and refined rather than the blockbusters generally regarded by the former uber-critic). A quarter of a century since Parker wrote those words, Domaine Ste-Anne remains synonymous with the Côtes du Rhône Village of St-Gervais. Today the range is much the same as it was