Cotes du Rhone was my go-to wine for many years, but today I have a hard time finding one that I can drink. Wine consultant Phillippe Cambie has emerged as a central figure in this area, coaching traditional winemakers to join the international crowd with the use of new oak barriques for Syrah and, in some cases, Mourvedre. Some--maybe the majority of wine drinkers--welcome the change. I do not. Pontificis is not a Cotes du Rhone; the grapes are well selected from Languedoc vineyards. But it tastes like the Cotes du Rhone wines I love. And it's only $6 to $8 from Trader Joe's.
Nice crimson tones, medium deep. Beautiful scents of red and black fruits, Provencal herbs, spice and black pepper. Perfect. Slides smoothly across the tongue but lots of depth and concentration for a wine of this price range. 48% Grenache, 32% Syrah, 20% Mourvedre. I have been buying and drinking this wine often. And plan to continue.