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November Wine Focus: Côtes du Rhône and its Villages

by Robin Garr » Fri Oct 30, 2020 10:36 am

I'm kicking off the November Wine Focus a day or two early because I love the wines of the Côtes du Rhône so much. Let's explore the region this month, tasting everything from the basic Côtes du Rhônes to the bottles labeled Côtes du Rhône-Villages, and the more upscale models that actually bear the name of the individual village on the label. Made from Grenache, mostly, but also Syrah and, to the wine maker's liking, any of the 13 grape varieties permissible in the region and best known in the Châteauneuf-du-Pâpe blend. Enjoy 'em! I'll have my first tasting report today.
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Re: November Wine Focus: Côtes du Rhône and its Villages

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Oct 30, 2020 1:36 pm

Should be a great month, have been stashing away 2015 which was considered a v good vintage.
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Re: November Wine Focus: Côtes du Rhône and its Villages

by Robin Garr » Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:06 pm

Here's my first for the month, a really good value CdR from Perrin, made with certified organic grapes. Yummy and affordable.

Famille Perrin 2018 "Nature" Côtes du Rhône ($12.99)

This wine shows a pretty garnet color, clear and fairly dark. Good, open scents of ripe raspberries and raspberry liqueur and a subtle touch of licorice lead into a fresh, bright flavor of red and black berries and a dash of white pepper, framed by mouth-watering acidity and gentle but perceptible tannins. It's a 14.1% alcohol blend of Grenache and Syrah made from certified organically grown grapes, aged for a year with 75% of the wine in stainless steel, the remaining 25% in oak casks. U.S. importer: Vineyard Brands, Birmingham, Ala. (Oct. 28, 2020)

FOOD MATCH: This versatile wine will serve well with red meat or grilled or roast chicken, cheeses, or creamy pasta. It was excellent with takeout dinner from a local diner. Our dishes included a hamburger patty melt, creamy veggie macaroni and cheese, and breaded-and-fried strips of portabello mushroom.

WHEN TO DRINK: Don't try to cellar it for the ages, but it's a delight now and likely to remain that way for a few years.

VALUE:
I actually squeaked in a dollar below Wine-Searcher.com's $14 average U.S. retail. It's a great bargain below the middle teens, and I'd even pay a few bucks more for it if I had to.

WEB LINK
Here's an English-language fact sheet from Famille Perrin.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Check prices and find vendors for Perrin "Nature" Côtes du Rhône on Wine-Searcher.com.

Read more about Côtes du Rhône and follow this Wine-Searcher link to browse listings for dozens of other wines from the region.
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Re: November Wine Focus: Côtes du Rhône and its Villages

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:41 pm

Winebar downtown was pouring the 2017 la Font du Loup CdR. Gonna pop in to Devines and buy a bottle for sure. juicy red fruits, brambly, plum and raspberry. Perhaps a tad modern but with the right food, could be a sure winner.
Have some traditional CdRs in the cellar so lotsa joy this month. Tim should be able to find us some gems available in his area.
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Re: November Wine Focus: Côtes du Rhône and its Villages

by Tim York » Sat Oct 31, 2020 7:42 am

I drink a lot of Côtes du Rhône (CDR) and Villages (CDRV). There are lots of good producers and some excellent QPR as low as c.€6 for CDR cuvées, for example from négociant Dauvergne & Ranvier. Nearly all CDR and CDRV come from the southern part of the valley with typical varietal cocktails dominated by Grenache but there are a few producers in the north using the appellation CDR for cuvées which are usually 100% Syrah.

Many villages are emancipating themselves from the CDRV appellation and have obtained AOP recognition for the village name standing alone. The process started in 1971 with Gigondas followed by Vacqueyras and now Cairanne, Rasteau, Beaumes-de-Venise, Vinsobres (+ perhaps others whose names I forget) are self-standing AOPs. Cairanne, in particular, has been well represented in my cellar by the excellent wines of Marcel Richaud and Oratoire Saint-Martin and I propose to include them in this thread if I open one or two (plus the odd Gigondas, etc.)

As the weather gets cooler, gutsy stews are on the menu and these wines make generous and warming pairings. We are in full lockdown mode once again so perhaps In-house Probation Officer will be understanding if I place an internet order to replenish my stocks :? :D .
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WTN 2017 Cotes du Rhone

by Tom N. » Sun Nov 01, 2020 8:35 pm

Cotes du Rhone

Domaine Autrand 2017 15% abv 80 % Grenache 20% Syrah

Deep garnet red. Rich nose of dark fruit, especially boysenberries. Mid palate a delightful balance of dark fruit (blackberry), smooth tannins and juicy acidity. Medium to long finish with and nice spicy end at the back of the palate. I would buy this wine again. With food, it really paired well with the tomato sauce on our chicken parmesan. Also liked the balsamic vinaigrette on our salad.
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Re: November Wine Focus: Côtes du Rhône and its Villages

by Tim York » Wed Nov 04, 2020 5:38 am

This wine comes from an excellent grower whose wines used to stand out in the region for their elegance. In vintages like 2009, 2015 and probably 2018 and 2019, this elegance is likely to take a back seat.

2015 Domaine Richaud Cairanne - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Cairanne (03/11/2020)
A lot of my description of a bottle drunk a year ago still applies but I was more conscious of power this time than of the usual Richaud elegance. That could be the effect of a warm vintage. It was medium + bodied and quite dense with fruit infused with sweet dark cherry, some garrigue, gentle acidity sufficient for balance and hints of liquorice and kirsch on the finish backed up by firmness and backbone which may owe as much to alcohol (14.5%) as to tannins. Very good.

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Re: November Wine Focus: Côtes du Rhône and its Villages

by David M. Bueker » Tue Nov 10, 2020 7:52 pm

I looked at my inventory, and the only CdR or CdR villages I have is Fonsalette, and that’s “open that bottle” material.

Oh well.
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Re: November Wine Focus: Côtes du Rhône and its Villages

by Tim York » Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:48 am

The reinforced lockdown and a very real menacing local presence of the virus has prevented my going out to explore the choice at a decent caviste but I did manage to receive a delivery of three different CDRs/CRDVs from a supermarket. I start with a classic in the CDR appellation, which is Guigal's generic bottling. At €10 it is more expensive than most in the appellation, except for stars like Fonsalette and Coudoulet de Beaucastel, but I think it justifies its higher price. I'll have an opportunity in a few days to test Dauvergne Ranvier's CDR 2019 costing €6.

2017 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône (10/11/2020)
According to Guigal's website this reliable cuvée is typically a blend between Syrah 50%, Grenache 40% and Mourvèdre 10%. I enjoyed this 2017 more than I did the 2013 and 2014, if my TNs were reliable. It was medium++ bodied with very attractive sweet cherry infused fruit, like a lot of the better CDRs and CDRVs from the northerly parts of the South like Vinsobres. In addition there was a faint sprinkling of spice, a Balsamic hint, decent depth, suave texture and fresh enough acidity leading to a finish with ripe well covered tannins. At the price I paid, €10, it is well worth repurchase but it can be bought for less on the web. Very good.
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Re: November Wine Focus: Côtes du Rhône and its Villages

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:37 pm

Delivery from a local supermarket? In-house PO out of town I guess.
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Re: November Wine Focus: Côtes du Rhône and its Villages

by Tim York » Wed Nov 11, 2020 2:27 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:Delivery from a local supermarket? In-house PO out of town I guess.


She was acquiescent when I slipped these three into the order. It may be different when I place a dozen+ order with a web seller :shock: :lol: . I get lots of tempting offers on my smartphone.
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Re: November Wine Focus: Côtes du Rhône and its Villages

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:28 am

TN: 2015 Remy Ferbras Cotes du Rhone Villages Terre de Mistral.

Cellared 2 yrs plus, $26 Cda, good natural cork, did decant, serve with a chill, 13% alc.

Pretty decent wine here! Good color with hint of brick. Fresh berries on the nose, appeals. Plum, cherry, black pepper and a nice length in the finish. Plenty of acidity here but have to ask if this was a riper vintage?
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TN: Domaine de la Janasse Terre d'Argile 2016

by win_fried » Thu Nov 12, 2020 5:38 pm

TN: Domaine de la Janasse Terre d'Argile Cotes du Rhone Villages2016

Color dark red with medium legs. In the nose red berries; black currant; currant leaves. On the palate red berries again and firm tannins, darkest chocolate, good structure; medium short finish; still very young.
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Re: TN: Domaine de la Janasse Terre d'Argile 2016

by Jenise » Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:06 pm

win_fried wrote:TN: Domaine de la Janasse Terre d'Argile Cotes du Rhone Villages2016

Color dark red with medium legs. In the nose red berries; black currant; currant leaves. On the palate red berries again and firm tannins, darkest chocolate, good structure; medium short finish; still very young.


Interesting! Not five minutes ago I discovered a bottle of this, 2010 vintage, on my inventory but the wine is not here. Your provides a vicarious glimpse into what I might have had.
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Re: November Wine Focus: Côtes du Rhône and its Villages

by Jenise » Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:08 pm

We had two this week:

2016 Le Clos du Caillou Côtes du Rhône Cuvée Unique Vieilles Vignes Red Rhone Blend
Fresh and upfront strawberry and pomegranate fruit, cactus pear, ample pepper, zingy. Joy in every drop.

2016 Kermit Lynch Selections Côtes du Rhône Red Rhone Blend
Lighter and greener than expected in a way that emphasizes the mean side of grenache, and 24 hours open didn't bring about much improvement. Rarely disappointed in Kermit Lynch imports of any price, but this one did just that.
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Re: November Wine Focus: Côtes du Rhône and its Villages

by Tim York » Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:19 am

Simple CDRs from reliable négociants like Guigal and Dauvergne Ranvier can be very good and, in France, have the advantage of being available in many supermarkets. The Guigal, on which I posted a few days ago, has Grand Vin pretensions but this one year old from Dauvergne Ranvier is more a "fun" wine.

2019 Dauvergne Ranvier Côtes du Rhône De Natura Rerum - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône (18/11/2020)
Each time I drink this wine I like it better. Medium bodied and full of attractive soft fruit with a savoury tinge, earthy hints, a leathery tang, decent acidity and enough grip on the finish. Good wine and stunning QPR at c.€6.
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Re: WTN 2017 Cotes du Rhone

by Jenise » Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:23 pm

Tom N. wrote:Cotes du Rhone

Domaine Autrand 2017 15% abv 80 % Grenache 20% Syrah

Deep garnet red. Rich nose of dark fruit, especially boysenberries. Mid palate a delightful balance of dark fruit (blackberry), smooth tannins and juicy acidity. Medium to long finish with and nice spicy end at the back of the palate. I would buy this wine again. With food, it really paired well with the tomato sauce on our chicken parmesan. Also liked the balsamic vinaigrette on our salad.


Good note, and it's good to see you back.
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Re: November Wine Focus: Côtes du Rhône and its Villages

by Jenise » Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:26 pm

[quote="Tim York"]
2017 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône

Tim, I appreciate that note. It's been too many years since this wine was reliable year in/year out, and I've kinda given up on chancing it even though prices remain low, $15ish here in the U.S. Glad to see a positive note.
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Re: November Wine Focus: Côtes du Rhône and its Villages

by Jenise » Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:29 pm

We opened this a few nights ago to accompany a country French dinner of roasted chicken and vegetables.

2010 Château de Beaucastel Côtes du Rhône Coudoulet de Beaucastel Red Rhone Blend
True Rhone splendor: dark berries, herbs and ash provide a perfect intersection of savory and fruit. It was everything I hoped for. Interesting to see on CT that this wine now commands in the nabe of $60 at auction.
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Re: November Wine Focus: Côtes du Rhône and its Villages

by Tim York » Thu Nov 19, 2020 6:35 am

Jenise wrote:We opened this a few nights ago to accompany a country French dinner of roasted chicken and vegetables.

2010 Château de Beaucastel Côtes du Rhône Coudoulet de Beaucastel Red Rhone Blend
True Rhone splendor: dark berries, herbs and ash provide a perfect intersection of savory and fruit. It was everything I hoped for. Interesting to see on CT that this wine now commands in the nabe of $60 at auction.


Coudoulet as well as Fonsalette are stand-outs in the CDR appellation. Young Coudoulet vintages can still be found for <€30, which I consider a fair price.

This started me thinking about another would-be trophy wine in the CDRV area, namely Rasteau from Gourt de Mautens, which I haven't seen around for a while. I thought the wine's reputation over-hyped and never much enjoyed the over-blown style of the vintages which I owned. The estate seems to have dropped out of recent editions of the RVF and Bettane/Desseauve guides and googling seems to show that the red is now being sold as IGP Vaucluse at prices close to €60. :shock:
Last edited by Tim York on Thu Nov 19, 2020 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: November Wine Focus: Côtes du Rhône and its Villages

by David M. Bueker » Thu Nov 19, 2020 8:30 am

Wow, memories!

I remember when Gourt first came on the scene. For about a year it was a cult item. Being able to buy any was a major coup. After the first two outstanding vintages it turned into a caricature wine. My dad still has three or so bottles in the cellar. Have to open one when COVID is over.
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Re: November Wine Focus: Côtes du Rhône and its Villages

by Jenise » Thu Nov 19, 2020 5:11 pm

I remember buying l'Oratoire wines back in the day here in the U.S., and also finding their whites (which were brilliant) when we visited the area with the Spohns back in 2010. So I jumped on this 2016 Domaine de l'Oratoire St Martin Cairanne Red Rhone Blend when I found it locally last week. It was a perfect match for the heavy spices on the Santa Maria style pork shoulder roast I paired it with last night, with sweeter-than-I-usually-like kirsch-y black cherry fruit and a persuasive pepperiness that toggled back and forth between white and black, red bell pepper, and a touch of clove. There was enough acidity to keep it buoyant, but where it's only four years old I would have guessed 5+ even before discovering the chunky sediment in the bottom of my glass. Enjoyed it with the meal but would not buy this vintage, anyway, again.
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Re: November Wine Focus: Côtes du Rhône and its Villages

by Tim York » Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:54 am

Here is another example of an enjoyable good QPR S.Rhône, this time from a pretty village but one of the more obscure in CDRV. Sablet lies against the magnificent background of Les Dentelles de Montmirail and is located between the better known and now autonomous villages of Gigondas and Rasteau with Vacqueyras and Beaumes-de-Venise a little further to the south. This bottling comes from a village co-operative, La Cave des Vignerons, and is a bit rougher than the CDRs from Guigal and Dauvergne Ranvier on which I have recently posted.

2018 La Pierradière Côtes du Rhône Villages Sablet - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Villages (20/11/2020)
Like the 2016, this is a robust good QPR (<€7) southern Rhône suitable for pairing with Mediterranean dishes, this time paëlla, where its medium++ body, brambly fruit, spice and liquorice tinged rusticity play well. Good.
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Re: November Wine Focus: Côtes du Rhône and its Villages

by Tim York » Sat Nov 21, 2020 8:22 am

Jenise wrote: 2016 Domaine de l'Oratoire St Martin Cairanne Red Rhone Blend


Jenise, do you know which cuvée this was? They make three which would respond to that description, namely La Réserve des Seigneurs, Les Douyes and Haut-Coustias. I have one bottle left of the first in the 2016 vintage but have long since drunk my excellent bottles of the other two in vintages going back to 1996.

Oratoire Saint-Martin is one of my favourite estates in the area and I have often sampled its range at tastings in Belgium under the guidance of one of the Alary brothers. So I am sad to read that the brothers have sold in 2020 their domaine to the Fabre-Abeille family, owners of the CndP estate Mont Redon, which is not, I believe, considered one of the best. I hope that the standards at Oratoire will be maintained.

PS: I have found an article stating that the reason for the sale now is a near fatal accident suffered by Frédéric Alary in the cellars :( . Lack of heirs in the family is a longer term reason. The article says that the brothers will provide a consulting service to the new owners so that they may "better understand the terroir".
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