Grenache tagged posts

Under $12 Deals: Spain Strikes Again w/ La Atalaya ($11.95, RP91)

September 13, 2013 Under $12 Deals  No comments

2010 La AtalayaThe complaint about modern styled Spanish wines is everything tastes the same.  And frankly, I agree to an extent.  The wines of Juan Gil, Jorge Ordonez and a handful of others do have a certain sameness to them.  Okay, ready for the "but"?  But buy a $12 California red wine and not only will it lack a sense of place, but it will also, with very few exceptions, lack concentration, polish, depth and finish - all traits that La Atalaya and other high-performing Spanish wines have in droves.

I guess the point is this: The wines might not be all that different from each other, but when they are this good, who really cares?  La Atalaya has the depth, concentration and aromatics of a $50 wine and it costs $12!  It's made of mostly Garnacha (Grenache) with 15% Monastrell (Mourvedre) and

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90+ Bargains: 2010 Domaine la Garrigue Vacqueyras (RP91, $17.95)

February 7, 2013 90+ Bargains  No comments

Domaine la Garrigue VacqueyrasYou're going to start noticing a theme on this blog.  Rhone varietals, specifically Grenache and Syrah, are where it's at when it comes to value.  I enjoy a fine Napa Cabernet, French Bordeaux, or Italian Barolo as much as anyone, but if I'm picking a wine off a wine list, or for my personal weeknight enjoyment, I pick a Southern Rhone or domestic Syrah every time.  Why?  It's simple.  Value.  It's easy to get a fantastic Napa Syrah but it will cost you.  Not the case for Rhone varietals - domestic or international.

Vacqueyras wines are often called "mini Chateauneuf du Papes" but this is a wine many CdPs should look up to. It's a full-bodied, concentrated and peppery wine that, at the same time, remains somewhat delicate and refined. A base of Grenache with a spot of Syrah

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Rhone Rises in Washington with Doyenne Cellars

April 7, 2011 Cellar WorthyHigh End Values  No comments

If you're not on board the U.S. Rhone Ranger train, start running, because it's leaving the station!  By "leaving the station", I mean that the prices are about to go up as this moves from the fringe to the mainstream.  Delille's sister label, Doyenne, is reserved exclusively for Rhone varietals and every one of their reds that I've tasted is absolutely awesome.  Below are my impressions of the Doyenne wines I've tasted so far.  These wines can be shipped across the country and the prices are way low.  Look for more as I try the rest of their lineup.

Doyenne Aix Proprietary Red 2007 - $23.95 (ST92, WA92, WS90)
The wine that got me hooked on Doyenne is called AIX, a blend of Syrah, Cabernet and Mourvedre.  I thought AIX was a spectacular value when I wrote it up at

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A 90 Point ’07 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Value That’s Still Available. Today.

March 25, 2011 Cellar WorthyHigh End Values  No comments

On a rainy Sunday evening last weekend, I  enjoyed this Chateauneuf-du-Pape from what Robert Parker called the "the greatest vintage I've ever tasted in southern Rhone".  Accolades like that, combined with the fact that these wines were released going on 2 years ago, means 2007's are almost impossible to find - especially the good values.  Chateauneuf-du-Pape reds usually start at over $30 and 90+ ratings drive the price up from there.

This wine pours a slightly translucent brickish red that's signature CdP.  A bright cherry nose leads into focused dark berries and a perfect acid balance in the mouth.  But it's the lingering 30 second finish that defines and sets apart this incredible value.

This and most Chateauneuf-du-Pape are perfect examples of how great wine can be made without

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Single Vineyard Rhone Ranger Grey Stack “The Folly” $19.95

February 28, 2011 Daily DrinkersHigh End Values  No comments

If you aren't on the lookout for Rhone Ranger blends from California, you are missing out on an up-and-coming segment that is providing some great values.  The same grapes that made Sine Que Non an impossible to find cult wine, have remained under the radar for some reason.  Grenache and Syrah blends, and to a certain extent Mourvedre, blend to create interesting, elegant and fun to drink wines.

Paso Robles and Santa Barbara county are producing some of the best, but Grey Stack's Greywacke Vineyard "The Folly" is from Russian River Valley, of all places.  This Syrah and Grenache blend is an absolute stand out value at $20 and a must try for anyone looking for a departure from the norm of California Cabernet.  I like Syrah, but believe that when blended with Grenache, it really "kicks

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The best Rhone under $15 is only $11 WS88

October 18, 2010 Daily Drinkers  No comments

Robert Parker called the 2007 vintage in Southern Rhone "the greatest vintage I have tasted in my 30 years working in that region... Moreover, the vintage is remarkably consistent from top to bottom".  That quality and consistency might be perfectly expressed in the 2007 Font du Vent Cotes du Rhone-Villages Notre Passion Signor, which is the best Rhone value I've tasted all year.  This wine would probably be good in an average vintage, but in an historic vintage like 2007, it's incredible.  This $11 Cotes-du-Rhone Villages tastes like a pretty good Châteauneuf-du-Pape.  That's really saying something.

Everything about this wine is well put together, fresh and elegant.  Like most wines of this style, it's not influenced by a lot of oak, though half of it does see some time in barrels. 

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Best Rhone under $10- Buy it by the case WS88!

July 8, 2010 Daily DrinkersWines under $10  No comments

With the hyped 2007 vintage still on the shelves, the 2008 Rhone vintage is starting to hit the market and, in a less hyped vintage, there are often some serious values to be had.  The latest vintage of Domaine Paul Autard Cotes-du-Rhone Rogue might just prove to be the best value of the vintage. There's just a special pleasure about drinking a great tasting wine for under $10.  In some respects it can be more fun than drinking a $100 bottle because it's all pleasure with no pain.  That is unless someone else is paying for that $100 bottle of course.

The 2008 Domaine Paul Autard is juicy, smooth and delicious.  The 70% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Counoise blend has a nose of rock candy followed up by the signature Rhone pepper.  It tastes juicy with nice cherry flavors and a surprisingly

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Domaine du Vieux Telegramme Chateauneuf-du-Pape: $30 knock out

May 26, 2010 High End Values  No comments

Memorial Day weekend started early for us today (okay really early), with an awesome Chateauneuf-du-Pape.  Much has been said about second wines on these pages. Telegramme is the second wine from Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe- one of the most famous wineries from the Chateauneuf-du-Pape (CdP) appellation of the southern Rhone Valley.  The top wine, "La Crau", was rated 96 points by Robert Parker in this 2007 vintage.  2007, by the way, has been widely reviewed as one of the best southern Rhone vintages of all time.

Telegramme pours a slightly translucent ruby with an ever-so-slight brick tinge.  The nose hints of good things to come with fantastic red raspberry and dessert scents that remind me of warm apple pie with cinnamon and a hint of smoke.  The fruit theme continues as the wine

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2007 Rhone Deal: Domaine des Escaravailles Rasteau La Ponce RP 91-93 $18.95

April 9, 2010 Cellar WorthyHigh End Values  No comments

2007 has been an amazing year for Rhone reds and here is the great thing about the best vintages: they turn traditional "great values" into knockout classics.  70% Grenache and 30% Syrah, this wine pours a deep opaque purple/red color that suggests good things are to come, and it doesn't disappoint.

At first, I thought the nose was a little closed with a touch too much alcohol, but after an hour in a decanter it totally changed, showing a great peppery scent framed by ripe fruit and nice smokey overtones.  This wine tastes dense and bold, if a little rustic, without being overblown.  What differentiates old world Rhone from many of the new world Rhone blends is they show a great constraint and clarity while still being aggressive, concentrated, bold and lengthy.

This wine will only

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