Sunday, November 20, 2011

Two Good Buys in Rhone Wine

Two recent email alerts from G.B. Russo & Son in Grand Rapids caught my attention. The first announced the close-out sale of 2008 Pesquie La Terrasses Ventoux for $5.99 a bottle or $60 a case. That's an amazing price for an excellent wine that I reviewed on this blog last summer [June 30, 2011]. I didn't like the 2006 and 2007 La Terrasses; there was a tanky smell that I didn't care for. So I was dubious when I saw the 2008 (a lesser vintage) on sale for $9.99 at D&W Market in Kalamazoo. I bought a bottle to try and went back for more. If you don't have any of the 2008 and you're in the vicinity of Grand Rapids, I suggest you load up the trunk--if it's not too late.

A more recent email alert reported that Russo had purchased the entire Michigan allocation for 2010 Cercius Cotes du Rhone Villages, a wine highly praised and rated 93 points by Robert Parker. From 70- to 80-year-old Grenache and Syrah vineyards near Domazon, just south of Chateauneuf du Pape, Cercius is produced by Michel Gassier and imported by Eric Solomon of European Cellars. Parker and Russo compare it to a Chateauneuf du Pape in everything but price. At $15.99 a bottle, it will probably go fast.

I haven't tasted Cercius but am not planning a special trip to try it. Parker's highest points these days usually go to Rhone wines that are more international in style, with at least some use of new oak and/or small barrels. I prefer a more traditional style and know there are plenty of good choices available for $8 to $10 in my market--such as the 2010 Vieux Chene VDP Vaucluse Grenache and the 2009 Vieux Chene VDP La Dame Vieille.


  1. You are giving away your secrets! Ah, alas I am envious, the Ventoux- I live in Mississippi. Self explanatory.

  2. Russo may be willing to ship to Mississippi, Emily. Michigan laws forbid getting wine shipped, even from within the state. I live less than an hour away but I already bought enough of the La Terrasses, and (in case I change my mind) it's still available for about $10 at my local grocery store.

    As you may be discovering already, building a cellar sometimes involves giving in to temptation and buying more wine than you need when the price is right (and you have the cash). 2008 La Terrasses is not for cellaring, of course, but it will give you many hours of pleasure while you wait on the wines that will keep. I may do a post about building a cellar soon.

    By the way, thanks for letting me know about I signed up with them. I did not mention your referral but will if I get the opportunity.