This Red Blend Brings Harmony To Your Table
BY KATHY CASTEEL
The bounty of summer brings an abundance of tastes to your table. Corral the cacophony of flavors with Röbller Villa Rouge, a Missouri red blend that pairs well with many types of dishes.
Villa Rouge is one of the oldest wines produced by Röbller Vineyard in New Haven. The proprietary blend of Chambourcin, Norton and Villa Noir (a Pinot Noir hybrid) is a Solera-style wine, produced by the blending of multiple vintages over successive years. The smooth, semidry wine has an aroma of sweet cherries and chocolate. Red fruit flavors of cherries, raspberries and plums are intensified by the undercurrent of chocolate and a hint of Norton’s earthiness. The slight sweetness balances with fresh acidity, capped by a taste of tannin on the lingering finish.
Pair with barbecue and tomato-based dishes such as red pasta sauces for an easy wine choice for everyday menus. The hint of sweetness balances well with the acidity of tomatoes and fruits.
“Villa Rouge plays well with acidity,” says winemaker Jerry Mueller, son of winery founders Bob and Lois Mueller. “It’s very popular with our customers.”
It’s so popular, Mueller notes, the current batch of Villa Rouge is down to its last few hundred bottles. When it’s gone, a revamped wine under the same label will take its place. The new Villa Rouge — released at Röbllerfest, the winery’s 23rd anniversary celebration in April — sports a different makeup and a more complex flavor profile than its predecessors, Mueller says. He likens the 2014 release to a fruity California Chianti.
“This year’s release is 100 percent Chambourcin,” Mueller says. “It has more of the dark fruit flavor profile — similar to Mendocino reds — that comes from aging in stainless steel and no oak. It really brings out the raspberry/cherry flavor of Chambourcin with a just a bit more tannin. While there is sweetness, it is balanced with structure and acidity, giving the wine good body and mouthfeel.”
The new batch proved popular when it debuted at Röbllerfest and on the Hermann Wine Trail, he says.
Röbller Vineyard is located south of the Missouri River, on the eastern end of the Hermann Wine Trail. The tasting room is open daily, with special events scheduled throughout the year. Live music takes center stage each month this summer at the winery’s Summerfest, Reggae Sunsplash and Tunes & Balloons. For details, visit www.robllerwines.com.
Röbller wines are available in Columbia at Lucky’s and the Root Cellar, and on the wine list at The Wine Cellar & Bistro.