Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Rhoning Stone Cotes du Rhone, 2007

I'm not much for cutesy names for wine and passed up this wine several times because of the name. When the price came down to $6.88, I had to try it and glad that I did.

The color is a deep, pure crimson; it looks like the real thing--good Grenache fruit and no new oak or barriques. And, oh yes, the nose confirms the deal: pepper and spice galore. Ripe, as to be expected from the vintage, but not outside the boundaries of traditional Cotes du Rhone. Blueberries, red cherries, garrigue and peppercorn--powerful like a good Cairanne. On the palate, the wine is sweetish up front with firm fruit tannins in the middle and a long finish featuring anise and peppercorn. This is not a one-year wonder but a wine that will continue to grow for at least three or four more years.

For me, this unpretentious Cotes du Rhone (along with Altitude 500 Ventoux and Delas' Saint Esprit Cotes du Rhone) belongs in the top ranks of the highly touted 2007 Southern Rhone vintage. I'm still steering clear of the $50 to $100 Chateauneufs that I suspect are over-oaked and over-manipulated and putting my money on the good old-fashioned wines at the bottom of the pyramid.

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