Rhone tagged posts

Beaucastel’s Gigondas la Gille- A Pegau Lookalike ($25.95)

October 9, 2015 90+ BargainsHigh End Values  No comments

perrinn_gigondas_gille_LRGPerrin et Fils is best known for their Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape ($80), but they have extensive holdings throughout the Rhone valley.  In fact, their "reserve" Cotes du Rhone , at around $13, is a go-to wine for me when I'm trying to find something drinkable in a Florida grocery store (no easy task).

Moving up a significant step to the second greatest appellation in Southern Rhone (next to CdP), the 2010 Gigondas la Gille is a very impressive wine.  With three 92 point scores, one would expect something special, but this really blew me away.  Though one would expect some Beaucastel character in this wine, I found it to be a dead ringer for Pegau.  One of the most identifiable wines in the world, Pegau has a wild black olive character that this wine possesses in scores.  At 1/3 the

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A Potential 92 Point Vacqueyras for $16 – Domaine du Terme (IWC 90-92)

January 26, 2015 90+ Bargains  No comments

IMG_4300When it comes to France's Rhone Valley, it's hard to beat Vacqueyras for value.  Wines from this appellation are a step up from Cotes-du-Rhone villages, and when you find the right wines, on par with the much more expensive wines of Gigondas.

This particular wine from Domaine du Terme is outstanding with the flinty, mineral characteristics typical of the region but with broad fruit, notes of black olive, tons of depth and excellent length.  The nose is also great, with bright raspberry and flowers.  This is a very complete wine at any price and at $15.95 is a daily drinker with weekend drinker quality.  I had a glass of 2011 Pegau last night and while this isn't quite that good (Pegau is a $60 wine), it's certainly reminiscent.

The Wine Advocate gave this wine 90 points and the

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92 Point Rhone Red for $11.95 – Domaine Cabirau Cotes du Roussillon

November 17, 2014 90+ BargainsUnder $12 Deals  No comments


Value seekers need to discover the Roussillon appellation of the southern Rhone Valley fast!  Where else in the world can you find highly rated reds for less than $15?

Today's wine is from a winery recently purchased by successful importer Dan Kravitz.  This is one of the best wines in the world for the price.  It features bright red fruits on the nose and sweet strawberry on the palate accented by superb minerality.  The super long finish speaks to the quality of the old vines Grenache.  That grape combined with smaller amounts of Carignan and Syrah, create a complex and incredibly polished wine at any price.  At $12, it's frankly incredible.  Furthermore, this wine is bottled under screwcap so it will remain fresh and will be without the risk of cork taint.  Bravo to this case

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90 Point Rhone under $12 – Chateau Bizard Grignan les Adhemar Montagne de Raucoule (WA90, $11.95)

September 25, 2014 Under $12 Deals  No comments

Chateau Bizard 2011

From the Southern Rhone appellation of Grignan-les Adhemar (new to me), comes this killer Syrah-based blend from Chateau Bizard.  As the years go by, my daily drinker wines have experienced some "price creep".  Besides spending more, the other problem with this phenomenon is I'm getting quite a bit more picky about what I consider a quality wine.  The grading curve has simply been raised.

That said, this is a rock solid Syrah.  It blends southern Rhone and fruit exuberance with northern Rhone cut and focus (it's from the north part of southern Rhone).  You might say it's the best of both (old) worlds. Furthermore, finding a domestic wine, Syrah or otherwise, that even approaches this quality is completely impossible.
Buy Here: 2011 Chateau Bizard Grignan

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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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Another Brilliant Wine from Eric Solomon (90-93 points)

September 14, 2012 Cellar WorthyHigh End Values  No comments

Eric Solomon is an importer of mostly French and Spanish wines, who focuses on value above everything else.  Robert Parker says "Over the last twenty years, Eric Solomon has consistently been one of America’s finest small importers of handcrafted, artisanal wines."  20 years ago, I was nine, so I can't speak to his track record then, but every Eric Solomon wine I've ever had has been somewhere between good and great.

This one is great.   It comes from the Costieres de Nimes region in Languedoc Roussillon, France which somewhat confusingly was recently made part of the Rhone appellation rather than Languedoc.  Makes sense right?

If you tasted the 2009 Costieres de Nimes Lou Coucardie, which Robert Parker awarded 90-93 points from a barrel sample, you would get why Rhone decided to

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Another 91 point 2009 Rhone Deal – Under $20

May 2, 2012 Daily Drinkers  No comments

2009 and 2010 are both outstanding vintages in southern Rhone and, especially in France, great vintages mean great values.  Domaine Le Couroulu’s 2009 Cuvee Classique hails from the Vacqueyras region of southern Rhone. Vacqueyras is located very close to Chateauneuf-du-Pape but (obviously) doesn't carry the tariff.  In fact, I seriously doubt you could get any CdP for $16, let alone one with 90 and 91 point ratings.

This is a firm wine that needs another year in the cellar, or a long decant to really show its stuff.  That's a good thing for a wine in this price range!  This is very well made with a broad, concentrated palate and a dry, lingering finish.  In a word: impressive.

If you're stuck drinking $15 California Cabs, you really ought to look toward Rhone varietals for far

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A 93 Point CdP Under $40 – ’09 Domaine Paul Autard La Cote Ronde

November 15, 2011 Cellar WorthyHigh End Values  No comments

I drink a lot of different wines, from different countries and regions, but I collect only a few, and the wines of Chateauneuf du Pape in France's Southern Rhone Valley are a favorite. Paul Autard is one of the premier winemakers in the Rhone region in part because, unlike many of France's winemakers, he's using modern techniques like new oak aging. Still, his wines end up staying true to tradition with fruit focused favors that made the region famous.

Outside of Bordeaux, Chateauneuf du Pape is arguably France's most prestigious wine regions and that fact isn't lost on the importers and wholesalers, which is to say, these wines aren't cheap. Anything rated 90 points or above starts at $30 and goes all the way past the $500 mark. So when a potential 94 point CdP from a highly

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RP 92 Point Pierre Usseglio & Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape – Amazing

October 2, 2011 Cellar WorthySpecial Occasions  No comments

The wines of Southern Rhone's Chateauneuf du Pape region are possibly the purest expression of fruit the wine world has to offer.  Mostly uninfluenced by oak, these wines are all about the soil in which they are grown and the vines that produce the grapes.

This wine, by world-renowned Domaine Pierre Usseglio, is defined by the finish, something oak barrels can't produce.  A blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre and 5% Cinsault, it's fantastically long with strong tannins that will likely integrate over the next few years to create a wine of spectacular balance and finesse.  This is a 2009 and, as such, is showing a little of its youth.  But after three hours of air, the wine started to blossom with the initially thin mid-palate filling out nicely and the nose blooming into a

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The Paso Robles Rhone Revolution: L’Aventure Wines

March 7, 2011 Cellar WorthyHigh End Values  One comment

I wrote about what makes L'Aventure Winery's wines so unique last May, but since barely anyone read this blog back then, I think I'll revisit.  My hope is that our thousands of weekly readers can get to know these wines and will come to enjoy them as much as I do.

Stephan Asseo, the French winemaker and owner of L'Aventure, is leading the Paso Robles charge as the Rhone style capital of the United States.  Though some of Asseo's wines feature Cabernet, Rhone varietals are his focus - the "special sauce" for his wines and the Paso Robles AVA as a whole.  A Paso wine earned Wine Spectator's Wine of the Year honor, with Justin Smith's 2007 Saxum James Berry Vineyard, but luckily for those of us who aren't on their mailing list, Saxum isn't the only game in town.

How L'Aventure is still

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