When I went to a large tasting of 1998 Rhone wines several years ago, the Chateauneuf du Pape that stood out as the best of the lot to many of us who gathered around the Chateauneuf table was Chateau Fortia. This is an estate that was once ranked near the top of the appellation but often gets overlooked today, in part because Robert Parker put the label "under achiever" on it after several under-par wines produced in the 1980s. There is no question in anyone's mind, however, that Fortia has been making excellent wines in recent years. And it often sells at a discount.
The 2005 Fortia Cuvee Tradition is available right now for $31/bottle at Sawall Health Food store in Kalamazoo. That's about $10 to $40 less than other comparable Chateauneuf wines. The 2005 Fortia was given a high rating (90 to 93) by Steve Tanzer. And if it's anything like the 1998, it should be drinking well even at this youthful stage.