2015 Domaine Coursodon St. Joseph La Sensonne, France, Rhone, Wine Review

2015 is considered a very ripe year in the Northern Rhone.  Most seem to think it a great vintage but some old school drinkers have issue with the ripeness.  There is no right answer but plan accordingly.  This is on the big and ripe side.  Purple in color, a thin line of ruby at the rim.  Great nose of black raspberries, bacon fat, and slight grilled meats.  On the palate, this is deep with tons of black raspberry fruit.  Medium tannins.  It unwinds in the glass.  It won't peak for at lest a decade and be good for at least another after that.  Still, today it is delicious.  

2015 Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet (Hervé Souhaut) St. Joseph Les Cessieux, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Purple, ruby at the rim.  The nose has dusty black cherries, spice and slight violets.  On the palate, this has black raspberries with slight black pepper.  A streak of earthiness under it all.  This is a big, fruit forward wine.  It is still young and should develop over the next two decades (probably peaking after one).  Good acidity.  Would work well with bigger foods.  Nice finish.  Certainly a ripe wine, it might be a bit controversial among Rhone fans, but this is excellent.  Certainly has some upside potential.  

2007 Clos des Brusquières Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

This is really in a nice place right now.  Mature but enough fresh fruit to keep it edgy.  Ruby in color, purple at the core.  The nose has opened up on this showing black cherries, cherries, and plums along with spice and slight dried floral notes.  On the palate, there is plenty of vibrant black cherry fruit.  Deep with layers that open up quickly.  Good acidity.  Nice balance.  No hurry but I think a few more years and it starts moving the other direction.  Works well with a wide variety of foods.  A great example of why cellaring top wines in ripe vintages might be a good strategy.  

2015 Domaine de la Côte Sainte-Epine St. Joseph Vieilles Vignes, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Great showing for this.  Tasted over two nights with little change.  Of course, 2015 is young and a great vintage in the northern Rhone.  Purple in color.  The nose is pretty classic if a bit riper than typical.  Black raspberry fruit with spice along side some bacon fat, slight grilled meats and black pepper.  On the palate, this has a lovely rich texture.  Good acidity to balance that out.  Black raspberry fruit with an underlying crushed rock and slight roasted herbs.  Primary now but it unwinds in the glass.  A step up from a recent 2012 of this wine I had.  Not yet at peak, this needs

2014 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Consumed from a Magnum.  Purple in color, ruby swirls.  The nose is clean with black cherries and spice.  On the palate, this has a soft texture.  Black cherry fruit.  Slight, slight bitterness to it.  It seems advanced considering the format and the age, but that's fine.  Drinking well now.  While it has some complexity it is broader rather than deep.  This is very good for the vintage and should be good for the next ten years.  Not sure if there is any upside though.  

2015 Domaine Grand Veneur Côtes du Rhône Les Champauvins, France, Rhone, Wine Review

This is always one of the best Cotes du Rhone and in good vintages it is worth stocking up on.  It cellars well for five  to ten years.  Drinking great right now.  Purple/ruby in color.  The nose is very nice with black cherries, violets, spice and slight cedar.  On the palate, juicy black cherries, spice and gravel notes.  Not quite layered but more of a mosaic.  Good acidity.  Food friendly.  This retails for close to $20 which makes it a great value.  Better than a lot of Chateauneuf du Papes!

2014 Domaine Bois de Boursan Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

This was way above my expectations for a not so great vintage and their regular cuvee (although they didn't make a Felix in 2014).  Deep ruby in color.  The nose is a bit musty but clears to show raspberries, slight strawberries, a bit of pine and spice.  On the palate, this has a lovely slick-ish texture that makes it imminently drinkable.  Bright acidity.  Nice finish.  Drinking quite well right now, this is not going to make old bones.  

2013 Johann Michel Cornas, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Purple in color, ruby at the rim. The nose has black raspberries and clay.  Slight bacon fat.  On the palate, this has sour black raspberries.  That is interesting but really begs for food to counter the tartness.  Complex if still tight, it unwinds in the glass.  Medium tannins.  This is young and will benefit from a few more years of ageing.  

2016 M. Chapoutier Côtes du Rhône Belleruche, France, Rhone, Wine Review

This is a go to wine at parties, weddings, etc. as it is often served due to its low price.  It retails for around $13 and is an exceptional value.  Of course, in great vintages, it is usually even better and 2016 is another great vintage.  Purple in color.  The nose has boysenberries, dark cherries, charcoal and pepper.  On the palate, there is some fruit here but this is not a fruity wine.  It has nice fruit with an underlying minerals/earthy streak and good balance.  Works well with a wide variety of food.  Drinks easy but has some interest and depth.  

2006 Château de Saint-Cosme Gigondas Valbelle, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Gigondas is often thought of as a "poor man's" Chateauneuf du Pape and for a lot of reasons that is true.  But, the best Gigondas producers are certainly on a par with many of the better Chateauneufs and Saint-Cosme is certainly one of the best Gigondas producers.  At 12 years from vintage, this seems to be at about peak.  2006 was a very good if not remarkable vintage.  Being caught between the classic 2005 and the ostentatious 2007, it got a bit over looked.  Purple/ruby in color.  The nose has cherries, spice, minerals, slight tobacco/dried leaves and dried cherries.  On the palate, this

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