And some very nice Cru Wine from the Rhone Valley.
Cru Côtes du Rhône
plus a few whites and some local alternatives.
2016 Les Collegiales, Vacqueyras $22
70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre, 5% Carrrignan
An earthy Vacqueras with aromas of ripe fruit, blackcurrant coulis, strawberry jam, spice, and violets. The wine is quite smooth on the palate, with rich tannin and an attractive licorice flavor.
2018 Roucas Toumbs, Vaqueyras La Grande Terre $25
60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 20% Mourvèdre.
Heady fruit, licorice and violet aromas are complicated by allspice and smoky mineral nuances that build steadily in the background. The mouth offers appealingly sweet cherry cola and blueberry flavors that are sharpened and given backbone by a spine of juicy acidity. Plays richness off energy with a steady hand and finishes impressively long and gently tannic.
2016 Les Couventines Gigondas $28
60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre
Les Couventines is the product of a group of cooperatives in the Southern Rhone that pool their resources under the name Vignerons du Soleil. The Gigondas has a nose of ripe baked cherries with licorice and vanilla undertones. The plate is hedonistically full of jammy black cherries, black berries and raspberries layered with peppercorn, fresh hillside herbs and anise.
2017 Moulin de la Gardette Gigondas Cuvée Tradition $35
80% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, 10% Cinsault
The Cuvée Tradition is rich and luxurious with soft tannins and a long finish. A nose of herbs, plums and warm rooftops, then a supple almost gamey palate, with hints of aniseed on the finish. A lick of Mediterranean rusticity adds texture and color to the impeccably ripe black fruit. Organic
2017 Domaine de 3 Cellier Alchimie, Châteauneuf du Pape $36
74% Grenache, 16% Syrah, 5% Vaccaresse, 5% Counoise
Licorice, black cherry and spice with a hint of smoke on the nose. The wine is medium bodied, forward, fresh sweet and tart, with plenty of spiced, dark red fruits in the finish.
2015 Château Vaudieu Châteauneuf du Pape $40
80% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre
Richly layered, with hedonistic fig, boysenberry and raspberry confiture flavors that roll over each other while mouthwatering anise, fruitcake and black tea notes chase from behind. Best from 2020 through 2040. Was $50 now $40
2015 Domaine De la Biscarelle, Châteauneuf du Pape $39
The 2015 version is absolutely superb, offering up a nascently complex bouquet of dark berries, balsam bough, pepper, roasted meats, a touch of garrigue, complex soil tones, sweet, soft, strawberries, kirsch and raspberry notes on the nose and palate from the start to the finish.
2016 Mas de Boislauzon, Chaussy-Laget No.6 Châteaunuef-du-Pape $40
70% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre
Mas de Boislauzon is managed by Daniel Chaussy and Christine Chaussy, brother and sister are the sixth generation in their family to manage Mas de Boislauzon. Biodynamic
2016 Bonpas Bonus Passus, Châteauneuf-du-Pape $40
80% Grenache, 20% Syrah
Delicate aromas of stewed stone fruits, red berries, cherries. Features nuances of stone fruit such as plum and sour cherry combined with notes of light tobacco and spices to lend great complexity to this wine. This ensemble of flavors, with affirmative, well-integrated tannins results in a lengthy finish.
2009 Château de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape $140
Made from this estate’s classic blend, it possesses soft tannins as well as a silky, open-knit seductiveness, a dense plum/purple color and a beautiful perfume of smoky Provencal herbs intermixed with grilled steak juices, garrigue, kirsch and blue as well as black fruits. The wine is full-bodied, unctuously textured, and silky smooth (the latter characteristic being somewhat atypical for a young Beaucastel WA 94pts
2012 Château de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape $130
The 2013 Châteauneuf du Pape offers a full-bodied, decadent style to go with awesome black and blue fruits, garrigue, licorice, crushed flowers and violets. The purity here is truly something, and it has fabulous mid-palate concentration, building tannin and massive texture. Given all of the fruit and texture here, it will no doubt drink well in its youth, but it should still be alive and kicking after two decades as well. 96pts WA
2019 Vignobles Des Doms, Côtes du Rhône Blanc $13
60% Grenache Blanc, 40% Viognier
A balanced CDR Blanc has light floral aromas paired with citrus and white peach. It’s medium body is kept fresh with come fresh acidity.
2018 Domaine de Pentelines, Clara $22
20% Clairette, 20% Marsanne, 20% Rousanne, 20% Grenache, 20% Ugni Blanc
A Rhone white that rivals many CNDP Blancs. Savory notes of beer hops, fresh tarragon, and green peaches lift from the glass. The palate offers a creamy mouthfeel and flavors of apricots, grilled apples, and whipped cream that linger through on the long finish.
2017 Domaine Belle Les Terres Blanches $21
70% Marsanne, 30% Roussanne
A bright style, with a wet stone note running under the mix of white peach, verbena and yellow apple fruit flavors. Light honeysuckle and chamomile accents show on the finish. Organic
2016 Domaine Chante Cigale, Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc $30
25% Grenache Blanc, 25% Clairette, 25% Roussanne, 25% Bourboulenc
Nose of exotic fruits and white flowers Mouth marked by its roundness, finesse and its final mineral. Orange sherbet aromas give way to mixed citrus, but they’re all backed by zesty, briny complexity and fabulous length.
2018 Orr Grenache $25
The 2018 Grenache was hand-picked and fermented with a touch of Mourvèdre and Syrah and aged in mature French oak. The color is violet ruby and the nose is full of fresh raspberries, pomegranate, plum and black tea. It’s vibrant and lively through to the lifted and mouth-watering finish.
2018 Gilbert Cellars Allobroges $24
36% Grenache, 37% Syrah, 27% Mourvedre
Very floral with pomegranate and bright tropical fruit notes on the nose. The palate is light to medium-bodied with vibrant acidity in the mid-palate that carries thru to the finish. The tannin is rounded out in the attack with just a slight astringency due to the wine’s youthfulness. Vegan
2018 Elephant Seven, Yellow Bird Vineyard Grenache, Walla Walla $30
80% Grenache, 20% Syrah
Aromatics of wild flowers, garrigue, and Asian spices. A dense mid-palate with notes of red fruits, kirsch, orange peel, and cured meats, all complimented nicely with a dusty minerality. Seamless and elegant with a long expressive finish.