2016 Saint-Cosme Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

This is a producer who first got recognition for their fantastic Gigondas wines.  They have since expanded their releases all over the southern and northern Rhone.  Their Chateauneuf is also stellar.  It is a blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, and 10% each of Syrah and Cinsault.  Deep ruby in color, purple at the core.  The nose is tight upon opening.  With air, raspberries, black raspberries and mineral/gravel emerge.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Lots of black cherry fruit with some raspberries.  Medium tannins.  Bright acidity.  This will work well with roasts and casseroles.  I

2009 Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Impériale, France, Rhone, Wine review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$85.00USD

This was tasted from a magnum that had been opened for a couple of hours.  Delicious and drinking great.  2009 has been an open and for the most part, accessible vintage since release, yet also an excellent vintage.  Made from 90% Grenache.  Deep ruby in color, purple at the core.  The nose has raspberries, spice, dust and a bit of an interesting pine note.  What a great texture it has.  On the palate, there are raspberries over a charred wood with just a hint of the pine.  It has some complexity as it unwinds in the glass.  A long finish.  This is not a brute wine and indeed, more elegant

2003 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2003
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$890.00USD

A gorgeous showing for this wine.  100% Grenache.  If served blind, I would have guessed Grand Cru Burgundy.  It was lighter in color and more elegant than a 2001 Dujac Close de la Roche it was served next to (and just as good).  A pale ruby/maroon in color, bright and clear.  On the palate, this has cherries, slight raspberries, baking spices and twigs.  On the palate, this has lovely cherry fruit over a bit of gravel and dry earthiness.  Wonderful liveliness and energy.  Long finish.  A very complex wine.  No hint of the hot vintage of 2003.  This seems developed but also seems like it st

2005 Domaine Grand Veneur Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Origines, France, Rhones, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A

Every once in a while you open a bottle and its at peak.  It is a great feeling.  This was one of those times. Deep ruby in color.  The nose is great with black cherries, minerals, slight floral notes and garrique.  On the palate, this is layered and complex.  At the same time it drinks fresh and with vibrancy.  Plenty of black cherry fruit, some black licorice, and charred earth.  Long finish.  This is delicious on its own and will work great with casseroles and roasts.  It should be here for three to five years and then slowly fade while still great for another ten or so.  

2015 Domaine de la Mordorée Lirac Cuvée de la Reine des Bois, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$35.00USD

This is always one of the better values in Rhone wines.  They make two cuvees, this being the better of the two.  This is a blend of  40% Syrah, 30% Grenache and 30% Mourvèdre.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is great with black raspberries, black cherries, plums, spice and smoked herbs.  On the palate, this is medium bodied.  Complex.  The fruits carry thru.  Light tannins.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  This drinks well on its own but also works well with a wide variety of foods.  Works with casseroles, pizza or grilled foods.  It will continue to mature for a couple more year

2017 Saint-Cosme Côtes du Rhône, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$14.00USD

This is somewhat of a rarity in CdR as it is 100% Syrah.  This is also consistently one of the better values in Syrah.  Purple in color.  The nose is nice with black raspberries, garrigue (an herbal/spice combination found in the Rhone), and black pepper.  Medium bodied.  Nice acidity.  A bit more austere than prior vintages but that's fine.  More than enough stuffing.  On the palate, black raspberries, black pepper and slight roasted herbs.  Good finish.  This might even get a bit better with just a hint of age.  This should drink well for the next five to seven years.  It will work well w

2011 Domaine Giraud Châteauneuf-du-Pape Premices, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

The 20111 vintage was difficult in the Rhone.  Nevertheless, Giraud still crafted a very nice wine.  Purple in color.  The nose is tight but with air shows cherries and raspberries with some spice.  On the palate, this runs a bit sweet/ripe.  Cherry candies.  Low in acidity.  Slight tannins.  Moderate finish.  This is easy drinking on its own but might work better with a some less sweet cookies or chocolate dessert.  It seems to be  nearing the end of its optimal drinking window so it probably should be consumed sooner.  That said, it will still be drinking well for at least the next five y

2010 Domaine Giraud Châteauneuf-du-Pape Tradition, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$55.00USD

The 2010 vintage was excellent if quite structured on release.  While they have finally opened up, the structure remains.  Deep purple in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries, roasted meat and roasted herbs.  On the palate, this has sweet black cherry fruit with a bit of cherries along with some char and spices.  Mild tannins.  Good finish.  I don't think this will improve from here but should be good for another five to seven years at least.  This will work well with burgers or roasts.  

2014 Domaine Saint-Damien Gigondas Les Souteyrades, France, Rhones, WIne Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

Gigondas can offer great values on a Chateauneuf styled wine for a lot less money.  This is a great example.  And coming, from a less than great vintage, this is drinking quite well at age 5.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose is tight but with air opens to show raspberries, black cherries, char and spice.  On the palate, this has a great texture.  Juicy and full bodied.  Black cherry fruit over a bed of spice, earth and char.  Light tannins.  Nice finish.  This won't get better but should be at this level for another five to ten years.  It will go well with stews or roasts.  

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