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

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

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

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

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

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

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

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

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

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+

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

Vintage: 
2006
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

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

2007 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A

This wine is in the beginnings of its prime drinking window IMO.  It should be good for at least another decade.  Purple in color.  The nose is great with black cherries, black raspberries, cherries, raw meat, and floral notes.  On the palate, this has a great almost soft texture.  Slight tannins.  Layers of black raspberries, black cherries, licorice and earth.  This is a very clean wine.  Nice acidity especially for the vintage.  Long finish.  This kept improving all night.  It worked well my pasta dish after being open for a few hours.  

2007 Domaine Daniel et Denis Alary Côtes du Rhône Villages Cairanne La Font d'Estévenas, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

Possibly my favorite Cotes du Rhone wine.  I bought a case of this back on release and this was the last bottle.  No regrets, but it would be fine if I still had more.  It is drinking just fine.  It might be a good idea to try and track some down from the 2016 vintage.  Purple/ruby in color.  The nose is nice with black cherries, black pepper, slight earthiness, garrique and still some floral notes.  On the palate, this has some complexity.  Slight layering.  Still some sour cherry and black cherry fruit.  Tannins are integrated.  Good acidity and balance.  At around $15 per bottle on relea

2012 Domaine de la Côte Sainte-Epine St. Joseph Vieilles Vignes, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, slight bacon fact, black olives and slight violets.  On the palate, this is drinking well.  Not yet at peak, but getting there.  Some depth.  Great balance.  Black raspberries, slight char and a bit or earthiness.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  This has a bit more fruit than a "typical" St. Joseph but still shows a nice sense of place.  Should be good for a decade or more.  Around $25 on release, a great value.  A Fass Import wine.  

2015 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

Really a tremendous value.  The annual production for this wine is four million bottles.  To make that much wine and be so consistent and of such quality is an amazing thing.  This is certainly a wine where vintage does matter and 2015 is a very good vintage.  For around $15 or less, it is hard to find a better red wine.  Purple in color.  The nose is nice with black cherries, some black olive and a bit of black pepper.  On the palate, this has nice black raspberry and black cherry fruit.  Some depth.  Medium bodied.  Good acidity.  Works well with food.  I would drink these right away.  Th

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