Home > Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > Five Tasty Wines From the Rhone, All Below $21.

Five Tasty Wines From the Rhone, All Below $21.


Good afternoon,

I’m plowing through as many affordable Rhone wines that Jenn and I can. Even with the weak dollar there are many tasty, affordable new releases out there. Jenn and I liked all five wines listed below. We really liked the Roubine and are going to re-taste it against some other Vacqueyras this week. I’m always happy when I come across a syrah that is dark and earthy like the Bastide St. Dominique. I’d personally pony up the extra $2 to get the St. Damien CdR over the Montirius CdR. If you throw in the St. Cosme, Little James’ Basket Press you can get 4 qpr wines in the $10-$12 range. That’s great! The first four wines can certainly benefit from some aging.

2005 Domaine la Roubine, Vacqueyras – $20
The La Roubine vineyards have been around for decades but they first made and bottled their own vintage in 2000. They currently use half of their grapes for their wines. They were initially inspired by St Cosme and La Bouissiere. This wine is 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Mourvedre. The Grenache and Mourvedre vines are 50-80 years old and the Syrah vines are 10-15 years old. It is fermented in concrete tanks with wild yeasts. It is aged for 12 months, half of the wine is aged in small barrels (15% new and the rest 1-6 yeras old) and the other half in concrete tank. This wine is rather opaque, with a youthful ruby with purple color. There is a light nose of perfurmed blue fruits. In the mouth the perfumed blue fruits appear, almost violet in flavor, with a slight inkiness and minerality. The very fine tannins expand from the beginning coating the cheeks. The wine finishes with a coating of tannins, somewhat round fruit, and a good depth of flavor. This is a very good Vacqueyras that can be drunk now if you decant it for several hours but it is best to age it.

2005 La Bastide St-Dominique, Cuvee Jules Rochebonne, Cotes du Rhone – $21
This cuvee is 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache. Light to medium opaque in the glass. There is a light nose that Jenn described as, “everything-bagel toasted with butter.” It is a round wine, tilting towards cool, dark fruits, earthiness, and some minerals. There are fine tannins in the finish and a long, dark, inky aftertaste. It is in an old-school style that I love.

2006 Domaine St. Damien, Vieilles Vignes, Cotes du Rhone – $12
This wine is 90% Grenache and 10% Mourvedre and Carignan. These 50 year old vines are located on the Plan de Dieu. A light nose of more structured red fruit, with an almost peppery, spiced nose. The color is purple-garnet, more purple than the St. Cosme Little James’ Basket Press. In the mouth there is redder fruit in this structured wine then some mid-palate acidity. There are good, fine tannins throughout. Blue fruits and softness developed on the second day. I was a big fan of the 2004 and am a big fan of this one as well.

2006 Domaine La Garrigue, Cuvee Romaine, Cotes du Rhone – $12
This wine needs no introduction as it is always mentioned on the board. It is a blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, and Syrah much of which is from Vacqueyras. This vintage has a light nose of red and dark fruit. There is dark red fruit in the mouth with darker fruit in the middle. The wine is close to medium bodied with very fine tannins throughout. There are young tannins at the finish. It drank great on the second day.

2006 Domaine Montirius, Cotes du Rhone – $10
The domaine has made Vacqueyras and Gigondas cuvees in the past but have recently introduced a Cotes du Rhone. This wine is a blend of 73% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Mourvedre. I didn’t jot down any notes but it is an affordable wine worth trying. It has a bit less complexity than the St. Damien and La Garrigue and won’t last as long. It is certainly worth the $10.

Best,

Aaron

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  1. August 24, 2011 at 7:13 pm

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