2010 Rabbit Ridge Allure de Robles

Rabbit Ridge WineryAlways happy to see Rabbit Ridge makes this wine out in the open and proudly offers the same bottling via their winery at a fair price (read more on my take here). For those that aren’t familiar Allure de Robles is an estate grown wine that is made in a Châteauneuf-du-Pape style. This one is a traditional Rhone Blend composed of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. With the grapes being predominantly from clones of the esteemed Tablas Creek Winery which in turn are cut them from the fabled Chateau Beaucastel. For those that don’t recognize the names it is safe to say they are punching well beyond a $5 price tag…

Fairly or not always ends up getting compared to the Chariot Gypsy as the “other cult wine” which begs the same questions I asked last night. Why was this released 4 months earlier? Perhaps we can ask Erich Russell, Rabbit Ridge’s founder.

Speaking of Erich, if you like your Allures de Robles you may want to stock up now. Erich previously shared that “the supply of 2010 will be really low compared to 2009, maybe as much as 60% lower.” And to further compound the issue he reached out again in April to let me know they suffered some pretty significant hail damage that left him wondering whether a 2011 vintage would even be possible. I’ll follow up with him to see how it netted out but in the meantime let’s dig into this 2010…

Price: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

2010 Rabbit Ridge Allure de RoblesPer Rabbit Ridge (pdf) “The 2010 vintage is big and round with strawberry and cherry overtones from the Grenache, body from the Syrah and richness from the Mourvèdre. This wine is a great choice for sipping or with a wide variety of foods.”

What I Think:

(14.8%) Made from Tablas Creek clones this one is predominantly from Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. It starts juicy with lush, peppery lifted cherry fruit that swells turning toasty and a touch sweet on the mid-palate before drying out with medium tannins on a barrel spiced finish. I’d prefer more acidity but for those that are fans of bigger, fruit forward wines there is a lot to like here. Available for $8 via Rabbit Ridge.

Rating: Buy It (if you like your wines big with some tannins…)

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15 thoughts on “2010 Rabbit Ridge Allure de Robles

  1. I disagree with you on this one Jason. I loved the Allure de Robles from last year which was a delectable wine with nice fruit flavors, a slight sweetness and some tanins on the finish making it an easy wine to drink or pair with food. Unfortunately this years version didn’t compare at all (or at least the bottle I got). Except for a little strawberry on the nose, I didn’t get any fruitiness in the wine and it just tasted flat with few flavors that stood out. I managed to drink two glasses before I had to throw in the towel and call it a wine to cook with. I’m glad that I only bought a bottle instead of the case I was planning on getting. I was just drinking it, so maybe it needed a food pairing or maybe I got bottle from a bad batch?

  2. Russ, Give it another try. And it definitely benefits from being open for a while.
    It has a big dark flavor, rarely found in cheap wines, it has nice tannins, and
    you really can’t beat it for $5.

  3. If you are all talking about the 2010 vintage…….this is phenomenal for the price point. We eat primarily a mediterranean diet and pairs fabulously ! We were drinking the Martin Ray Pinot Noir (Santa Barbara) which retails for $20 until their latest vintage which doesnt have the character I believe the 2008/07 had. You would be hard pressed to find a wine this approchable with the fruit and complexity at this price. I can tell you if you do a true blind taste you may be shocked………with a up to eight times the price.

  4. Pingback: Rabbit Ridge Allure des Robles » Wine Heroes

  5. Extremely pleasing aromas of spearmint, lemon, red fruits and barnyard, but this one is dry, dry, dry with mineral, spice and herb flavors in the forefront and fruit very faint..reminds me more of a Duoro wine than a Rhone. Good food wine and a good wine. However, I’m not a fan of this Rabbit because it is not a fruit bomb (which I prefer) and because it’s too dry for my taste.

  6. Had the same experience as Russ when it first came out but I’m trying it again now and seems much improved. I’d buy it again. Hopefully was just a bad start to the year…

  7. The Rabbit is in the House!
    2011 is here @ $5.99 retail.
    Only 8000 cases, so extremely limited.
    Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and 8% “Proprietary Red Blend”
    Hopefully that won’t throw a monkey wrench into the mix like it did with the last batch of Gypsy. Crossing my fingers and hoping to get a Tasting in at work sometime this weekend. I’ll let you know.

    • Received an email from the winemaker that they only produced 20% of normal volume due to early frost in 2011. The good news is that he shared it is all estate fruit and he brought the alcohol level down. Hoping to find some to try today!

  8. Took one home Friday night to check out.
    On first pour, it had a tight nose with just a hint of fruit.
    On the palate, at first it was all blackberry jam and seemed a little flat
    or one-dimensional. After an hour the “usual” spices/tannins on the finish started to show up. When I got home last night at 1:30 am, I had a second glass and everything had meshed into what I remember Rabbit should be.
    Now the question is, do I like the Rabbit or the Pontificus better for Thanksgiving?
    Frankly, I think both would be just fine. Those who enjoy American-style wines can go with the Rabbit and those who enjoy Eurpoean wines can have something that is genuinely French and delicious.

    AWESOME WINE DEAL ALERT: Do Not Delay!
    2007 Lazy Creek Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
    (CA only; 400 cases total: I got 2)
    $30-42 regular retail: Our price $19.99!!!
    The label suggests cellaring for 5-15 years and the punt on the bottle means business. The reviews I’ve been able to find sound interesting and a maybe a little on the bigger side, but I’ll try to convince the Captain we need to take one for the team and crack one open tonight or tomorrow.
    Wine Geek Xmas Present Needs: Done. : )

    • Angela

      You were quite right to let it breathe. The wine has only been in the bottle for a few weeks and is still a baby. I was surprised how well it tasted right off the bottling line. In fact we had our wine club pick up party the day after the wine was bottled and no one could believe how it tasted after just being lightly filtered and bottled. For your comfort, I have added 7% or more of the other varietals in the 2009 and 2010 as well. The percentages of the different varietals change depending on the year. I don’t try to make every wine the same by using the same blend each year. I use what the vintage gives me. In fact my fondest hope is that every vintage is similar but different One of the reasons the wine is so jammy when it is young is the amount of skin time the grapes receive. The grapes are cold soaked for 7-10 days at 40 degrees before yeast is even added, then it is fermented slowly for another 10-14 days and then left on the skins for another 3-4 weeks. It is made the same as our $30 Grenache. In fact, I still have 4 tanks of 2012 on the skins and the grapes were picked October 13th. Most winemakers don’t get excited about their least expensive wine but it is the one that I worry about the most. Its probably because I grew up playing one on one basketball for bottles of Guigal Cotes du Rhone. Not only did I get to love Rhone wines but became a pretty good basketball player. I want Allure de Robles to be that kind of California Rhone style wine

  9. Hi Erich,
    So nice to get the lowdown from the source.
    Since it is such a baby and drinkable now with at least an hour of air,
    what do you estimate the drinking window to be?
    Also, do you think this particular vintage could benefit from being laid down for a while to let it settle? If so, how long?

    Day Two drinking (using a VacuVin) was lovely, but by the time I got around to finishing the bottle on Day Four (only me drinking after work interspersed with an Albarino) it wasn’t at its best, at least for my palate. For most of the folks that I talk to at TJ’s this wouldn’t be an issue since it rarely makes it past the first few hours, let alone the next day. ; )

    Man, playing basketball for Guigal, how cool is that!

    I love Rhone wines and I get so excited when your wine becomes available in my Order Guide. I know that you deeply care and I’ll get a quality product at a great price that I can pass along with confidence to my customers.
    Please keep your passion alive and if you’re ever in the SF Bay Area and would like to talk Shop, email me at my business: varietaladventures@gmail.com
    (BTW, the 2010 kicked Chariot Gypsy’s butt)

  10. Heads up if anyone’s still home,

    Hi Angela , August 18th 2013

    The 2012 Allure de Robles starts shipping to Trader Joes this Monday. It has just been bottled so let it breathe. When my wife and I tasted it it was better the third day. Due to many requests I brought the alcohol down and it has more natural acid–as I refuse to add any acid—My wife thinks it is the closest to a true Cotes du Rhone wine we have produced. It is really doing well in the tasting room as we have sold 300 cases already and the wine has only been in the bottle a week. Hope you guys will enjoy it. There is actually a little more available this year as my vines started recovering from the 2011 freeze

    Cheers

    ERICH RUSSELL
    OWNER/WINEMAKER
    RABBIT RIDGE WINERY
    PASO ROBLES, CALIF

  11. Hey Danny,

    Hope you’ve picked up your 2012 or plan to very soon as over half of our allotment is already gone. Erich said he shipped 3300 cases last week and found another 1260 cases which will go to the warehouse next week.
    After that, we’ll have to wait until next year. This IS the vintage to buy and put down until next summer or so. It’ll just get better : )

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