06 September 2008

06Sept-NYTimes article on Cotes du Rhone
Meticulous, modern, and very French

I thought this was an interesting article, even though I don't generally buy Cotes du Rhone. It further illustrates a French movement to appease an American palate which is, by far, one of the most surprising vinous developments I've seen since Australia began exporting really good wine.
It also shows how expensive wine is getting.
There are some styles of wine for which I don't expect to pay much. For years I felt like I could find a good Cotes du Rhone, Dolcetto d'Alba, Barbera, or Beaujolais for under $20. While one still can, it's becoming more difficult. (And when I say years I'm talking about the last 10 years. I wish I could complain, with first hand knowledge, of how inexpensively i could buy classified Bordeaux back in the 80s. I really hope what I pay now won't seem cheap in twenty years...)
One can still find some great deals when it comes to Rieslings. Proper Rieslings, even, with cellar potential can still be had for under $30.

Anyway, speaking of Cotes du Rhone, I've enjoyed, in vintages past, the Santa Duc "Vielles Vignes" Cotes du Rhone. It's a little big because of its old-vine nature but I remember it being lovely. Dusty, leathery nose and restrained dark fruit flavors with touches of those great Southern French notes of lavender and thyme. Nice, dry finish. And it shouldn't cost you anymore than $15 or so.

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