Walls: Counoise spreads its wings

Ben Brenner and Matt Nagy of Benevolent Neglect, Napa.

It’s easy to forget that the southern Rhône’s four most prevalent red varieties aren’t indigenous. Grenache, Carignan and Mourvèdre all appear to originate from Spain; Syrah made its way down the river from the northern Rhône.

Of the long tail of other grapes, most have their roots closer to home. Plantings have dwindled in recent years, but today local varieties are experiencing renewed interest. One that’s finding a lot of fans – both in the Rhône and further afield – is Counoise.


Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for four pure Counoise wines to seek out