2015 E. Guigal Crozes-Hermitage, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$22.00USD

This is always a great value.  Just a step up from the Cotes du Rhone and a bit deeper and darker.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has black raspberries, slight violets, cedar and pepper.  On the palate, this is juicy with bold black raspberry fruit.  Slight tannins.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  2015 was a great year in the Northern Rhone and value wines like this are a great play.  It should be good for the next five to seven years at least.  Great with stews, meats and spicier foods.  

2003 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2003
Score: 
100
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$700.00USD

What a spectacular bottle of wine.  This will certainly be in the running for WOTY.  Pop and pour, it took around thirty minutes to really open.  Luckily, this was being share with just a couple of friends.  This wine is no longer the port-like monster of its youth.  It is still a big wine for Chave, but it is starting to have a certain control to it.  Purple/ruby in color.  The nose is amazing with black raspberries, violets, slight white pepper, minerals and earth.  On the palate, this has tight layers that unwind in the glass.  Black raspberries, white pepper and crushed rocks.  Long fin

2010 Saint-Cosme Côte-Rôtie, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

Opened to watch the NCAA Championship Basketball game.  While still young, this is drinking nicely and provided a lot of enjoyment today.  Still, its best days are ahead and this should continue to improve.  Purple in color with ruby swirls.  On the nose, this has black raspberries, black pepper, slight bacon fat and slighter violets.  On the palate, this has firm tannins.  Juicy black raspberry fruit.  Showing layers of black raspberries, charcoal and earth.  Delicious.  Needs bigger foods.  This should easily last another decade and probably two.  

1990 Bosquet des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1990
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$75.00USD

Ruby in color, some browning at the rim.  The nose is slightly dusty with black cherries and spice.  On the palate, this has some cherries and dried cherries with a bit of earthiness.  Good acidity.  Reasonably complex.  This is still alive and drinking well if perhaps a bit past prime.  It is surprisingly clean given the age and how Chateauneufs were produced back then.  It went well with a tomato cream soup and indeed, would work with a wide variety of foods.  

2013 Rotem & Mounir Saouma Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Magis, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$100.00USD

I love Rhone whites but they are a crap shoot.  Luckily, this was drinking quite well.  It was brought over by a friend who was invited to our home for dinner.  He will be invited back.  Light golden in color.  The nose is nice with minerals, wax but plenty of fruit; peach and guava and finally some honeysuckle and vanilla.  On the palate, this has a slightly oily texture.  The peach and vanilla predominate but it gets waxy on the finish.  Also a lovely underlying minerality.  Good acidity.  Someone mentioned white Burgundy, but I didn't get that.  Pretty classic ehite Rhone and wide open a

2016 Laurent Habrard Crozes-Hermitage, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

Purple/ruby in color.  The nose is nice with black raspberries, slight raspberries, a bit of minerality and spice.  On the palate, this is mid-weight.  Drinking well right now.  Light tannins.  Good acidity.  Ripe enough black raspberry fruit.  This will work well with stews and roasts and is better with food.  Some peppery qualities on the finish.  Probably needs to be consumed in the next five years.  

2009 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de mon Aïeul, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

One of the great Chateauneufs Du Pape and from a great vintage.  This is 100 percent Grenache.  Ruby/purple in color, clear and bright.  The nose is very nice with cherries, spices and "garrique".  On the palate, black cherries.  The depth seems a bit lacking for the pedigree but perhaps is is a bit shut down at this point.  It is a delicious wine and enjoyable.  It's more of under-performing high expectations.  Tasted twice over the last six months with consistent notes.  It is food friendly but will take heartier stews and meat dishes.  

2015 Xavier Vignon Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Anonyme, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

An outstanding CdP.  A blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Mourvèdre and the rest Counoise, Vaccarèse and Muscardin.  This is ripe, juicy and delicious if not the "classic" CdP in style.  Purple in color, ruby swirls.  On the nose this has boysenberries, sandalwood, char and slight floral notes.  On the palate, this is juicy with big boysenberry fruit.  There is a nice under layer of spice.  Long finish.  One of those wines that each sip tastes so good you want to have another.  It will be interesting to see this age and lose the baby fat.  Probably should last another fifteen years anyway.  Will wo

2016 Domaine des Miquettes St. Joseph Madloba, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$56.00USD

This is what is sometimes referred to as an "orange" wine.  What that means is that it is fermented on its skins.  The extended skin contact transfers some color to what is otherwise a white wine.  It has other effects on the wines depending on the wine making process.  Though this style of winemaking has been around for a long time, a small subsection or wine lovers and commentators discovered these wines about ten years ago and became enthralled with them.  Like anything however, just because a wine is made in this style doesn't make them good or bad.  This one, however, is very good.  Th

2016 Mas de Boislauzon Côtes du Rhône Villages, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$23.00USD

Always a great value, the price has snuck up a bit and this was a bit disappointing considering all of the hype over the vintage.  That said, it was still a very good wine for a reasonable price.  Ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose has a cherry candy quality to it.  Also a sour cherry note.  On the palate, this is very sweet/tart.  Sweet cherries almost cloying but not quite playing off a tart sour cherry note.  Medium tannins.  Ok finish.   And interesting wine that may settle down some and improve.  It will work well with stews and meat dishes.  

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