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Affordable Rhones

I had a string of tasty, affordable Rhones over this long weekend.

2005 Bastide Saint Dominique, Cotes du Rhone – $10
This Cotes du Rhone is a blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache. It is sourced from 6 Ha owned by the domaine. A vibrant ruby in the glass. A lights nose of syrah and red berries. In the mouth more syrah flavors for this medium bodied wine, with fine tannins, and good acidity. It opens up after several hours and drank well on the second day. A good buy.

2004 Bastide Saint Dominique, Reserve, Lirac – $14
This is 65% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 5% Mourvedre. This is ruby with hints of purple. There are subtle red berries on the nose. In the mouth there is assertive red berries and cranberry flavors. A light to medium-bodied wine, lighter than the Cotes du Rhone. There are super fine tannins and acidity that provides a juicy finish.

2005 Domaine des Amouriers, Cuvee Les Hautes Terrasses, VDP – $26
Domaine des Amouriers is located in Vacqueyras and is run by Igor Chudzikiewicz and Patrick Gras. The estate started bottling their own wines in the mid 1990s. The Cuvee Les Hautes Terrasses is a 100% Syrah wine labeled as VDP and only produced in the best vintages. Alcoholic fermentation is finished in barrel then it is aged for up to 24 months in new through three year old barrels and demi-muids. A vibrant purple/red with medium opacity. An immediate creamy mouthfull of fresh red cherries with some blue fruits. There are some minerals in this supple, medium-bodied wine. There are fine tannins, wood, and syrah flavors that then develop. It leaves a nice aftertaste. It is a very good young wine worthy of buying.

2004 Domaine de la Garrigue, Vacqueyras – $17
This is an old domaine in Vacqueyras with the vines planted in the late 1940s. It is a blend of 75% Grenach and 25% Syrah, Mourvedre, and Cinsault. Garnet in color with medium opacity. An attractive perfurmed berry nose. In the mouth there are round fruits, spice, and grip from well integrated tannins. Some minerality does come out in this assertive Vacqueyras. A good buy.

2005 Clos du Mont-Olivet, Cuvee Montueil-La Levade, Vieilles Vignes, Cotes du Rhone – $12
This is an ancient estate that I always associate with Chateauneuf du Pape. This wine is 80% Grenache, 15% Carignan, and 5% Syrah. The vines are 50-60 years of age. A good garnet color with medium opacity. Blue fruits and spice from a nose immediately after opening the bottle. In the mouth there are dark fruits, spice, a minerally core that provide juicy flavors. This wine is medium-bodied with a good finish of fruit and mouth coating tannins. A very satisfying young wine and very cheap. The best buy out of these five wines.



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