While there are some great white and rosť Cotes du Rhone wines on the market, the majority of wines available from this appellation are reds. These reds are usually blends of a few grape types, such as Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, and Cinsault, but usually contain at least 40% Grenache.
Finding Cotes du Rhone wines costing more than $25 is a rarity, and most are around $10 to $15; easily more wallet friendly compared to their more celebrated Chateauneuf du Pape cousins.
Our tasting was a little disappointing, with tasters finding some decent wines, but generally lacking in excitement, or any "wow" factor. We agreed that most would have been better with food.
Thanks to Kara and Natalie for being our guest tasters.
First Place: Chateau Beaucastel Coudoulet de Beaucastel Cotes du Rhone 2005. Exhibited aromas of rubber cement, which Ali described as "smells like home improvement", along with tomato, wet leaves, plums, and mushrooms. Ali found "overripe compost heap". On the palate, there were plums, prunes, black cherry, cola, allspice, and dried herbs. Slightly hot, acidic finish showing some black tea notes. Four tasters rated this as their top wine. Received 28 points. David's bottle. About $25.
Second Place: Kermit Lynch Cotes du Rhone 2006. Citrus peel, bubble gum, and salami on the nose. Andy noted some "earwax" scents. Flavors of bright cherry and flowers, which Natalie described as "funeral parlor". Relatively thin and acidic, with a sawdust finish. Natalie's favorite. Received 24 points. Ali's bottle. About $14.
Third Place: Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone 2007. Offered scents of bacon fat, smoke, charcoal, cedar, burnt sugar, and cloves. David described it as "intriguing". Well-balanced, and juicy, with black tea, cola, cherry coke, and chocolate flavors. Ali found a "sweet onion finish", to which Kristin added, "onions soaking in pork fat". Kristin also said that this made her "want to sit in front of the fireplace". David's favorite. Received 13 points. Natalie's bottle. About $18.
Eric Texier Cotes du Rhone 2005. Tasters found aromas reminiscent of cherry cola, tomato, green bell pepper, dark chocolate, chalk, and wet dirt. Andy described "glazed honey ham". Kind of one-dimensional, with its anise/fennel flavors. Andy felt it was "like an awkward teenager". Peppery finish. Received 10 points. Kristin's bottle. About $16.
Les deux Anges Cotes du Rhone Sablet 2006. Strange aromas of feet, acetone, rubber, and dirty sponge. Hints of cough syrup. Natalie found a "chalky medicinal scent", while David noted "locker room". Smooth and velvety, with cherry, almonds, and butter flavors. Chalky finish. Received 3 points. Kara's bottle. About $11.
Pont d'Avignon Cotes du Rhone 2004. Bubble gum, licorice, dust, and dried oregano on the nose. David found a "musty forest quality", and Ali felt that it "smells like it's going to be acidic and weak". Tasted simple, having cola, pepper, and dirt flavors on an acidic frame. Lacked depth. Andy compared it to "prison food". Ali decided that it was "a one trick pony . . . and the trick isn't that good", then adding, "like the pony wants to shit on your carpet". No points. Andy's bottle. About $14.