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!

2015 Domaine Anne Gros Echezeaux Les Loachausses, France, Burgundy, Wine Review

Light ruby in color.  The nose is great but a bit tighter than the Clos Vougeot.  Cherries, and some rhubarb and cranberries.  Also some cedar.  On the palate, this is medium bodied with nice cherry and cranberry fruit.  There are slight tannins.  Lots of depth.  This continued to improve in the glass but really needs more cellar time.  It has good acidity.  Long finish.  A lovely wine proving why the better wines from Echezeaux justify its Grand Cru status.  

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.  

2005 Château Fonbadet, France, Bordeaux, Pauillac, Wine Review

Pop and pour.  This is very solid but given the release price ($50) and ten years from a great vintage, it seemed to under perform a bit.  Purple in color.  The nose is tight at first but eventually opens up to cassis and spice.  On the palate, this has a nice enough texture.  Nice cassis fruit but a bit one dimensional.  Perhaps there is still time to develop but it seems that if that was the case, there would be glimpses.  Still, it is enjoyable and if straightforward, at least that is a good direction.  

2015 Domaine Anne Gros Clos Vougeot Le Grand Maupertui, France, Burgundy, Wine Review

Ruby in color.  Gorgeous nose.  Surprisingly accessible.  Cherries, black cherries, floral notes and slight baking spices.  Complex.  On the palate, this is very pretty.  Elegant.  A soft texture but yet firm.  Cherries and black cherries.  Just a touch of earth and spice.  Long finish.  Great balance.  While this is sure to improve for twenty years, it is superb right now.  This is an expensive wine in anybody's book, but given the state of Burgundy, this is a great wine that will justify its price (relatively speaking).  Lots of upside here.  

2013 Domaine Anne Gros & Jean-Paul Tollot La 50/50, France, Languedoc

This is a joint project from two successful winemakers from other parts of France.  It is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Carignane according to the web site.  This was really good and for $9 a screaming value.  It is a fruity wine and drinking quite well right now.  Perfect for this summers BBQ's and parties.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is slightly earthy with black raspberries and a slight pine note which was enjoyable.  On the palate, this has firm tannins.  Black raspberries and black licorice underneath.  Bright fruit.  There is even some upside with this wine over the

2015 Les Perdrisières Pinot Noir Vin de Pays d'Oc, France, Wine Review

it is unusual for a French wine to list a varietal on the label.  This is labeled Vin de France which is why  it can be done.  There is an address in Mercurey so perhaps these grapes are grown in Burgundy but that is just speculation.  Ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose is slightly earthy with macerated cherries and slightly sour cherries.  On the palate, this has some serious tannins especially for Pinot Noir which is unusual.  The wine is thin bodied and lean with cherries.  There is a slight depth.  It sold for under $10 per bottle so would make a find party wine.  

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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