2016 Château de la Grande Gardiole Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Vieilles Vignes, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$58.00USD

Another great vintage in the southern Rhone valley in France.  Deep garnet in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose is nice with cherries, black cherries, slight anise and floral notes (Violets?).  Medium bodied.  On the palate, the cherries and dark cherries come thru with underlying spices and roasted herbs.  Nice texture.  Good balance.  Nice finish.  This is drinking well now and should continue to do so for the next seven to ten years.  It drinks well on its own but will work better with foods.  Ribs off the grill would be a nice choice.  

2005 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$110.00USD

Always one of the top Chateauneuf's and also a bit different than most due to the higher amounts of Mourvedre in the blend.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is classic Beaucastel which can be polarizing.  Black cherries, plums and a fair bit of barnyard.  Very earthy.  Full bodied.  On the palate, lots of black cherries and plums but cleaner earthiness than the nose.  Complex, deep and layered.  Long finish.  This is at peak right now if well stored.  Drink over the next seven to ten years.  This drinks well on its own but will be better with food.  Braised meats or roasted ve

2005 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$125.00USD

One of the top producers in Chateauneuf, at age 15, this is singing.  Deep garnet in color, clear and bright.  The nose is great with cherries, kirsch, licorice, slight dried flowers and spices.  Medium to full bodied.  What a great texture.  Lush yet energetic.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Lots of kirsch notes with underlying clean earthiness.  Complex and layered.  Long finish.  Sure seems just about at peak but should drink well for another ten years.  Great on its own, even better with food.  Stews or roasts would be great.  

2017 Domaine Tour Saint-Michel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée du Lion, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

Another new winery for me.  This was quite good.  A blend of 75% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre.  Deep ruby in color with purple swirls.  Great nose of cherries, black cherries, floral notes, and spice.  Clean.  On the palate, this is medium bodied and quite concentrated.  Black cherries and cherries over a clean spice and earth.  Nice balance.  Good finish.  This still needs three to five years to maturity and should be good for ten after that.  It worked well with vegetarian chili.  

2019 Domaine de Châteaumar Côtes du Rhône Cuvée Vincent, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$17.00USD

My current favorite in value wines.  Even better than the 2017.  And, under $20!  Purple in color.  The nose is great with black raspberries, black pepper, slight bacon fat, and slight roasted meats.  Great texture.  On the palate, lots of concentrated black raspberries over char and  clean earth.  Light tannins.  Nice finish.  This has some complexity and might still get better.  It should drink well for seven to ten years.  Great on its own, it will work well with fatty fried foods.  

2017 Domaine du Grand Montmirail Gigondas Le coteau de mon rêve, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

Gigondas is a great place to find nice value in Rhone wines.  Montmirail is a good choice for producers in Gigondas.   This is a blend of 75% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 5% Mourvèdre.  Purple in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries, black raspberries, black pepper, and some earthiness.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, the black cherry fruit dominates over an earthy/forest floor base.  Nice balance.  Mild tannins.  Good finish.  This is drinking well but may still get a bit better over the next five to seven years.  It will drink well for ten to twelve more years

2007 Domaine Charvin Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$100.00USD

This performed above expectations.  It is in a really great place right now.  Purple in color with a thin ruby lip.  The nose is classic with black cherries, cherries, black olives, garrique and slight dried flowers.  This is a bit bigger than most vintages but still has that Charvin sinewy texture and energy.  It is not a big wine.  Nice black cherry fruit with a base of semi-clean earthiness.  Great balance.  Layers of depth and complexity.  Long finish.  Delicious.  This bottle seemed just about at peak but should be hears for at least another decade.  Drinks great on its own but will wo

2018 Cellier des Dauphins Côtes du Rhône Les Dauphins Cuvée Spéciale, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$11.00USD

Cotes du Rhones offer up some excellent values.  Add to that the Rhone Valley (especially in the Southern Rhone) seems to have eight or nine good to great vintages a decade, and it can be a go to source of outstanding values.  This wine is certainly one.  It appears to be a Grenache/Syrah blend but the exact blend is unknown.  The bottle is attractively packaged with an unusual shape and a colorful "Old-timey" label.  Deep ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose has black cherries, roasted meats, slight cinnamon and nutmeg with a slight earthiness.  Medium bodied.  There is a nice

2015 Domaine de Fauterie Cornas, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

This was quite tight.  Opened and tried over three nights and on the third night it finally started to show something.  That is, of course, not unusual for a traditional Cornas.  Purple in color, opaque and moderately bright.  The nose has boysenberries, slight bacon fat, black olives and slight pepper.  On the palate, this is medium bodied and very concentrated.  Nice texture which is probably the best clue that there is a nice wine lurking in there once it opens.  Enough boysenberry fruit to satisfy but this is more about minerality and earthiness.  It is quite tasty too.  If opening now,

Pages