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Cotes du Rhône

Ferraton Pere & Fils Côtes du Rhône Samorëns Blanc 2016

Ferraton Pere & Fils Côtes du Rhône Samorëns Blanc 2016

A winsome blend of 60% White Grenache and 40% Clairette grown in clay lime soils, the 2016 Ferraton Pere & Fils Côtes du Rhône Samorëns Blanc has a subtle nose of pear and dried yellow apple, followed by a lilting top note of jasmine. It's soft on entry, with flavors that match the nose, save for a suggestion of lees and lemon zest that wends its way through to a long, mouthwatering finish. Biodynamically-farmed. 13.5% ABV | Sample Ferraton Pere & Fils 8.9 Points ...

Yves Cheron Les Dentelles Côtes du Rhône 2015

Yves Cheron Les Dentelles Côtes du Rhône 2015

I wanted to find a little more concentration of fruit at the core of this otherwise easy-drinking blend of 65% Grenache and 35% Syrah from Yves Cheron. The 2015 'Les Dentelles' sports a classic Southern Rhône profile of plums and blackberries couched in garrigue, warm spice, and dried violet. It's bright on the palate, not surprising given that this wine is aged in concrete—a vessel that enhances acidity and minerality, as well as pure fruit expression. It finishes with pronounced notes of iron ore, peppercorn, and dried herbs. 13.5% ABV Vignobles Cheron 8.8 Points...

Clos du Joncuas Côtes du Rhône Villages Séguret Domaine de la Garancière 2015

Clos du Joncuas Côtes du Rhône Villages Séguret Domaine de la Garancière 2015

From organically farmed old-vine Grenache, with a smidge of Carignan and Cinsault. The 2015 Domaine la Garancière Seguret radiates black fruit on the nose—a bit deceptive because the true red-fruited character of Grenache comes through on the palate. Layered flavors of raspberry turnover, roasted strawberries, and a suggestion of black blackstrap molasses dissolves into chewy tannins, damp earth, garrigue, and char. Clos du Joncuas 8.8 Points...

Ferraton Pere & Fils Côtes du Rhône Samorëns Rosè 2016

Ferraton Pere & Fils Côtes du Rhône Samorëns Rosè 2016

Like the perfect accessory, Ferraton Pere & Fils' 2016 Samorëns Rosé matches my reading glasses. I sit here in my studio, pondering this Provencal pink, I am reminded of how much I love these wines despite a long, chilly spring in the Willamette Valley. It's a wine that manages to be energetic and delicate all at the same time. A pleasant tumble of white peach, cherry blossom, sea foam and pomace. Minerality dominates the textual landscape of the palate along with a pleasant streak of crushed green herbs. 13.5% ABV | Sample Ferraton Pere & Fils 8.8 Points...

M. Chapoutier Belleruche Côtes du Rhône 2013

M. Chapoutier Belleruche Côtes du Rhône 2013

A wine I return to year after year, simply because it's such a stellar value. Belleruche is one of Chapoutier's entry-level labels, a tempting and fleshy blend of classic Rhône varietals: Grenache blanc, Roussanne, Viognier, Clairette, and Bourboulenc. It's rife with pear and stone fruit with the merest twist of lemon peel, fennel and white flowers. On the palate, it's round and silky with enough acidic verve to keep it light on it's feet. This is a great, versatile wine to keep stocked for any occasion. 14.0% ABV Maison M. Chapoutier 8.8 Points...

Clos Bellane Côtes du Rhône Villages Valréas Blanc 2015

Clos Bellane Côtes du Rhône Villages Valréas Blanc 2015

A 50/50 blend of Marsanne and Viognier, the enchanting Clos Bellane Côtes du Rhône Villages Blanc hails from a higher altitude site, with vineyard blocks set on 410" plateau opposite Mont Ventoux. Sunbeam yellow with lemon drop and d'Anjou pear leading into more diffuse aromas of dried laurel and slate. The attack is round and almost tender—anchored by a single vein of acidity—a center of gravity weighted in crushed stones and white pepper. Nice intensity and an even better finish 13.5% ABV | Sample Clos Bellane 8.9 Points...

Domaine Paul Autard Côtes du Rhône 2015

Domaine Paul Autard Côtes du Rhône 2015

I'm revisiting this on the third day, it's still lovely and fresh—Paul Autard's basic Côtes du Rhône 2015 offers a sweeping palette of aromas. Macerated strawberry, cherry and plum notes are hemmed in by anise verging on violets, crushed stones, black olives, and sweet tobacco. It's decidedly medium bodied, with dark fruit at the core, anchored by bright acidity and firm, supple tannins. Cracked black pepper and minerality emerge at the close. A great value with the stuffing to last another 5-8 years. Sample 9.0 Points...

Domaine de la Gramiere Côtes du Rhône 2011

Domaine de la Gramière Côtes du Rhône 2011

The La Gramière 2011 is a cuvée of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah, with vinification in concrete. A rustic, gamey nose of blackberry reduction sauce, beef jerky, freshly turned soil and violets. Aging in concrete has produced a wine that is both fresh with texturally fine tannins. There is high acidity here, too and with mostly black fruit framed in white pepper, spice, celery seed, and perhaps a less favorable herbaceous, stemmy green quality that lingers with a metallic note. 13.5% ABV | Sample Domaine de la Gramière 8.6 Points...

Domaine la Manarine Côtes Du Rhône Rosé 2014

omaine la Manarine Côtes Du Rhône Rosé 2014

Pale salmon in the glass, the nose of 2014 La Manarine Côtes Du Rhône Rosé is abundantly cherry, tart pie cherries swathed in a bouquet of spring flowers. While not overly complex, this blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, and 20% Syrah is fermented in concrete. It's quite fresh, though concrete aging certainly adds a nice textural component, a subtle silkiness and glinting mineral overtones that trail off in a spicy flourish. For the price, this is a perfectly delightful summer wine. 13.5% ABV | Sample Domaine la Manarine 8.9 Points...

Les Vignerons d'Estézargues Côtes du Rhône Villages Domaine d'Andézon 2013

Les Vignerons d’Estézargues Côtes du Rhône Villages Domaine d’Andézon 2013

Domain d'Andezon Côtes du Rhône is crafted from a blend of 40 year-old Syrah vines and 60 year-old Grenache vines grown in the arid and galet-laden Southern Rhône. Unfiltered, it's inky and hunkered with slightly rustic notes of black olive tapenade, dried pen ink, and loamy soil overlaid by juicy boysenberries. In the mouth, there is an equal degree of intensity, shored up by dusty tannins and brooding, earthy notes. For $12.99, it's a great value, I've always liked this wine, though admittedly 2013 is not what I regard as a top vintage. 14.5% ABV | Sample Les Vignerons d'Estézargues 8.8 Points...