Browse Tag


Be still my heart

JL Chave 1999 Côtes-du-Rhône “Mon Coeur” (Rhône) – Just a smidge past fully mature, I’d say, with a lovely old wood, old smoke, old fruit, and old leather jacket aroma laden with a significantly autumnal reddish-brownness. The fruit has, as it so often does in older wines, rounded into a petite core of sweetness, but it retains a good deal of appeal. The wine eventually loses its battle against oxygen…an hour or so and the cracks are readily apparent…but it shows surprising quality while it lingers. I’d never have guessed it would last this long, as it seemed rather blocky and dull-witted in its youth. (12/08)

I want to be a Ramière, Ramière, Ramière

Jeune “Domaine Monpertuis” 2006 Côtes-du-Rhône Vignoble de la Ramière (Rhône) – I’d almost forgotten that Côtes-du-Rhône used to taste like this: earth-spicy old cherry, herb-laden earth, none of it striking or memorable, and certainly not over-worked or heavy, but an easy-going, eminently pleasant companion to just about any food one can throw at it. (Don’t throw your food, though; your mother would be unhappy.) There’s a hint of horse, but only the most rigidly averse will care. (10/08)

Sh*ts & Guigals

Guigal 2004 Côtes-du-Rhône (Rhône) – A bit twisted and hard, with dark fruit in the background and a dirty, country-road texture. Not particularly enjoyable. (9/08)

What a Perrin

[bottle]Perrin 2004 Côtes-du-Rhône “Réserve” (Rhône) – A stew of vague gestures in the direction of meat, herb, and sun-reddened fruit, which is all fine, but there’s a lot of acidity. A lot. I love acid, and bemoan its lack in so many modern wines, but this seems a little spiky to me. The rest of the wine is tasty, so perhaps with the right food… (8/08)

Don’t squeeze the Charvin

[vine]Charvin 2007 Côtes-du-Rhône Rosé (Rhône) – Beautiful. It tastes nothing like a light pink version of some meaty, boisterous Côtes-du-Rhône. Instead, there’s delicacy and precision, with a lightness to what is unquestionably ripe strawberry-focused fruit, minerality, and transparency. There are no signs of alcohol, at all. The loveliest rosé I’ve had this summer. (8/08)

Jolly old St.

Boiron “Domaine Nicholas Boiron” 2006 Côtes-du-Rhône (Rhône) – Peppery, burnt fruit. Very full-bodied, but what it’s full of isn’t very good. (2/08)

Italian rock

Pierre Usseglio 2006 Côtes-du-Rhône (Rhône) – Simple, nutty, and clean. Bubblegum-dominated fruit. Medium-bodied. Decent. (2/08)