I suck at pronouncing French words and phrases. I took two and a half year of french in high school and I have very little to show for it. Côtes du Rhône is a phrase that I needed to learn earlier in my wine journey. We were introduced to a red Côtes du Rhône at a tasting and I was hooked. We tend to be drawn towards these food friendly, medium body red wines, which is a perfect description of Côtes du Rhône.
In this episode, we discuss:
- Côtes du Rhône AOC and red wine it produces
- History of wine in the Rhône region
- Differences between north and south Rhône
- Côtes du Rhône classifications
- Food pairings
Château Cabrières Côtes Du Rhône Villages – priced around $13. This wine comes from the southern Côtes du Rhône on the edge of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It’s an even split of Grenache and Syrah. This wine has a really rich nose! Aromas of chocolate covered cherries, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, and oak. It’s dry, with medium tannins and acid, smooth finish with more chocolate and spice flavors.
Bonpas Côtes Du Rhône – priced around $12. The Chartreuse de Bonpas is a fortified convent from the 12th century built in the very southern parts of Rhône on a crossing point of the Durance River, at one time named Bonpas (Bon, or good passage). Bonpas has been making wine since 1318! This wine is a blend of Grenache (more than 40 year old vines), Syrah and Mourvedre that is aged in large oak casks. With a bit of cherry in the nose, this wine is fairly dry, starts with cherry flavor, plus a good amount acidity. The finish is long with lots of smooth tannins, a touch of spice, ending with freshness like fresh picked vegetables. Despite all of that, this wine still has room to go with food.
What’s your favorite Côtes du Rhône? Leave us a comment below.