CÔTES DU RHONE
Many wines, well-known and generous, make up the vineyards of the Rhône which run from North to South in two zones: from Vienne to Valence, the northern part with a moderate climate, and the southern part with a mild climate, from Montélimar to Avignon.
Classified in 1937, Côtes du Rhône is an enormous appellation encompassing red, white and rosé wines covering an area of 40,300 ha and producing a crop that is 3 times larger than Beaujolais and almost as much as Bordeaux. Although this wine can come from across the Rhône region, more than 90% comes from the south.
Red wine dominates, made with a minimum of 40% Grenache (except in the north where Syrah is allowed to be top dog) normally partnered by Syrah and/or Mourvèdre; another 18 varieties are also permitted. Typically light and fruity, the best examples can be rich, spicy and full-bodied. Almost all are best drunk young.
Quality varies from the very ordinary to the exceptional. Much is produced by cooperatives but the best come from the increasing number of individual estates and Châteauneuf-du-Pape producers like Beaucastel who produce premium entry wines here. White and rosé Côtes du Rhônes account for only 2% and 4% respectively, although both can be very good.
2015 CHÂTEAU SAINT JEAN PLAN DE DIEU · COTES DU RHONE VILLAGES AOC
+764828 · 12x750ml
80% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 5% Carignan. The wine is stunningly dark and offers a deep, fruity bouquet of concentrated berry fruit with shades of blackcurrant, blackberry, orange peel, oriental spices and a touch of coconut. The taste is very generous and rich with lots of obese, sun-dried berries. The wine should be enjoyed by spacious glass two to eight years from the autumn year, like accompanying dishes with lamb, beef, game or strong poultry.
SILVER MEDAL - CONCOURS GENERAL AGRICOLE, PARIS 2016 ||
CURRENT VINTAGE [PDF] | PAST VINTAGES [PDF]
2011 CHÂTEAU RASPAIL · GIGONDAS AOC
+765616 · 12x750ml
60% Grenache, 28% Syrah, 12% Mourvedre. Tender and appealing nose of dark, very rip fruits, chocolate and licorice.. mellow and so tender. Aromatically balanced, complex and powerful palate at the same time, on fruits’ stones, plums, graphite, licorice… pure expression of Old Grenache… ample and silky, tender and chewy… attractive and “cheers’ catching”… The length does reveal few years ageing potential still.