#NWTW Week 38: Côtes Du Rhônes

Flags - France

That’s it guys and girls. Summer’s over, and it’s time to pack away the sunnies and the flipflops for another 8 months. Not all bad though, especially if like me if you’re a fan of red wine and comfort food to keep the cold at bay. And we’re starting this week.

It’s back to Europe and back to France for our first trip to the Rhône valley for 2014. I’ve picked quite an open ended AOC, the Côtes Du Rhônes, from the southern end of the valley.

My picks for the week are:

 

Majestic
Saint-Esprit 2012, Delas-Frères @ £6.66

Morrison’s
Signature Villages @ £5.99

Sainsbury’s
La Chasse Reserve @ £8.00

Spirited Wines
Maison Carrée 2012 @ £8.70

Vinmonopolet
Cellier des Dauphins Signature Vieilles Vignes 2011 @ NOK 155

 

Happy hunting

Cheers

 


18 thoughts on “#NWTW Week 38: Côtes Du Rhônes

  1. OK, 2011 La Ferme du Mont Cotes du Rhone Villages ‘Le Ponnant’. Grenache blend.
    Raspberries, gravel on the nose. No, really gravel.
    A hit of acidity on first sip, then some more raspberries, darker fruits, anise – herbal.
    Dusty Tannins (a great name for a soul singer BTW) on the medium finish. And then, wait for it……some lip smacking.
    Medium bodied and yummy. Enjoyed with a tourtiere a Quebecois favourite.

  2. I went for a couple of wines this week from the supermarket top-end ranges. I started off with the Tesco Finest Côtes du Rhône Villages and then went upscale with Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Gigondas.

    The Finest Côtes du Rhône Plan de Dieu, to give it its full name, is a very enjoyable tipple at £5.99 a bottle (the Simply CDR is only 50p cheaper!). It was from the 2013 vintage so very young… but these wines aren’t made for ageing, they are produced for immediate drinking. The aromas were quite perfumed, almost sweet, with lots of fruit, red and black, and just a hint of baking spice. On the palate the fruit is concentrated, slightly jammy perhaps (a big % of Mouvedre vperhaps?), but very appetising. There is more red than black fruit and the texture is smooth as you would expect, but there is also a real ‘country’ feel to it – there’s something a bit rustic and rough around the edges – I like it very much and it is a bargain at £5.99. 7/10

    The Sainsbury’s Gigondas is a different beast; actually, it’s more beauty than beast. There were 2011 and 2012 on the shelf and I would encourage you to get your hands on the 2011 – an extra year in bottle makes a big difference. The nose is so enticing, with that lovely mix of fruit but also the dried herbs and sweet spice that I want and expect from a higher end Southern Rhône red. The texture is silky smooth and although I loved the rusticity of the Finest CDR, in this wine all of the pieces of the puzzle fall beautifully into place. The acidity is bright but it’s the wonderful balance of fruit and spice that elevates this wine. Now £13 isn’t cheap, but this a quality Gigondas and you won’t get much of that for under £15 – this one in a blind tasting will kick a few butts. Worth every penny… I am going to keep my eye out for promotions and stock the shelves! 9/10

  3. Southern Rhone wines are always welcome at our house. Cotes du Rhone? Count on ’em to be great dinner wines at great value! We also like the higher level Southern Rhone “Crus”, like Gigondas.

  4. I’m a bit late in this week following a quintessentially English weekend away in the Cotswolds for the American Mother in law’s benefit. You don’t get much more classically English than afternoon tea in Bourton on the Water-real picture postcard stuff and can’t fail to get the Yanks excited!

    It’s good to be back to a classic stalwart this week after the challenge that was Argie Malbec last week. Côtes Du Rhône is a reliable archetypal wine and one of the easiest regions to find a great range stocked in the supermarkets.

    Waitrose had several very good looking ‘Villages’ versions at under a tenner but the only one labelled ‘full bodied’ on the shelf label was a 2011 standard CDR from E. Guigal for £11.49. Knowing that this producer is responsible for my all-time favourite Côte Rôtie, it was an easy choice to make.

    E. Guigal is probably the top source of fine Northern Rhône wines, and made their name from their Parker admired “La La’s” of 3 different vineyards of Côte Rôtie, all now selling for ridiculous amounts following RP’s patronage in the 80’s.

    They’ve been around for years and the E being Etienne handed over control to Marcel who has now passed on to son Philippe at 37, (who has twin boys) so the future is looking strong!

    There’s a majority share of Guigal’s top variety Syrah with this wine at 50% with the remainder being Grenache and Mourvedre. Very odd for CDR as it’s almost always a Grenache showcase but unsurprising from Guigal. The wine comes from a beautifully named area north of Chateauneuf du Pape called Plan de Dieu or ‘God’s Plain’.

    The Waitrose label wasn’t far wrong as the wine pours and smells deep and full bodied. There’s black cherries, dark plum and nutmeg on the nose and a fair bit of similar layering on the palate. The expected acidity’s there for a 3 year old but the extra soaking on the skin that Guigal do as their trademark standard really shows through with the surprisingly long and complex finish. It’s apparent why they can sell this standard CDR on a mark-up from the supposedly superior Villages versions.

    A warm and spicy 8.5/10 (extra .5 for production values vs cost)

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