Rasteau is a relatively new appellation in France’s Rhone Valley, named for the hamlet a bit north of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Previously the red wines were sold as Côtes du Rhone Villages, but in 2010, the wines from this village were given a separate appellation and can now be sold simply as Rasteau.

The grapes used include Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre, as with all Rhone reds. Medium-bodied to medium-full, these wines have ripe, forward berry and plum fruit with sleek, medium-weight tannins; these should be consumed within 5-7 years with roasts, stews and aged red cheeses.

Rasteau is also known for a sweet red known as vin doux naturel, produced from Grenache; this was first produced by local vintners in 1944. These wines are produced from vineyards that are more than 50 years old and thus have very small yields. Alcohol is added to the must to create these fortified wines, which contain between 15% - 18% alcohol. These wines age for more than a decade and are usually served after dinner on their own. (Wine/Appellations)