I'm becoming very particular about the Cotes du Rhones I buy. So many are now made in what I would call an international style, designed to appeal to a broad range of wine consumers. Some have been produced with use of new oak or barriques; many are overly fruity or alcoholic and lack the spicy, peppery qualities that I love about Cotes du Rhone wines. This Belleruche CDR from Chapoutier meets my expectations. It's 60 percent Grenache, 40 percent Syrah.
Deep, dark ruby./ Plums, blueberries, lavender and a dash of black pepper. Smells tannic, and it's initially somewhat tannic on the palate. Plums and berries, enough acid to maintain balance and fruit presence despite the tannins. Over the course of the meal, the tannins tend to fade, and the wine becomes more and more appealing.