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2012 Cotes du Rhone

This week we tasted through three bottles of 2012 Cotes du Rhone.  They are quite different in cépage ranging from pure Grenache to pure Syrah.  I preferred the 2012 Domaine de Cristia and the 2012 Domaine Paul Autard on the first night when they were all about fresh, young fruit and integrated acidity.  On the second night they became more citric and tannic.  The Autard continued to have a bit more going on.  The 2012 Saint Cosme was the most serious of the three showing some density to the flavors.  It drank well on both nights.  If these are representative of entry level wines from the 2012 vintage then prospects are looking good.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.


2012 Domaine de Cristia, Cotes du Rhone – $13
Imported by Constantine Wines.  This wine is 100% Grenache sourced from 40 year old vines on schistous sands.  It was aged for six months in concrete vats.  Alcohol 14%.  The color was a light to medium grapey ruby.  The nose revealed darker aromas which were more berry than grapey.  In the mouth the flavors began with blueberry and mixed red fruit then became more grapey in the middle.  With air the wine still mixed red and blue fruit but was grapier and citric.  It maintained good acidity.  The structure of fine, drying tannins was more pronounced on the second night.  ** Now-2015.


2012 Domaine Paul Autard, Cotes du Rhone – $13
Imported by The Country Vintner.  This wine is a blend of 70% Grenache, 15% Syrah, and 15% Counoise vinified in temperature controlled vats.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The color was a light to medium cranberry, grape, ruby.  The nose bore a little plum and a hint of fresh, sweetness.  There was fresh, red fruit in the mouth with a hint of red citrus.  The flavors expanded as a puff in the middle with black fruit, acidity, and structure coming forward.  It had a little lipstick bit.  With air it took on a bit more citrus flavors with the structure becoming more evident.  ** Now-2015.


2012 Saint Cosme, Cotes du Rhone – $13
Imported by The Country Vintner.  This wine is 100% Syrah.  Alcohol 14.5%.  This had a nice, grapey nose.  There were grapey flavors in the mouth with dense and powdery bits of black and red fruit.  It had a youthful finish.  This held up well with air maintaining its youth and density.  The fresh fruit bore a mineral hint, touch of pepper, and a cool aspect.  It had a good aftertaste with a little black fruit in the finish.  ** Now-2016.


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