The other evening I drunk a very expensive, $220, red Burgundy from a great producer using grapes from a famous Grand Cru vineyard. Unfortunately it was made in the heat wave year of 2003 and was a huge disappointment – dense, raisiny and more like Carneros that the Cote de Nuits. Such are the perils of Burgundy.
Contrast this unhappy experience with the wine I drank the following evening, the Five Star Nick’s Wine Of The Week, the Côtes-du-Rhone Les Rabassières, Skalli 2009 ($15) which was everything an inexpensive French red should be.
Brief note: Thanks to a recent change of ownership you might also find the wine with the same label but Bouachon listed as the producer.
Many C du R’s come from the north of the region and, being dominated by Syrah, have a tendency to excessive weight along with a distracting peppery spiciness. Les Rabassières however comes from Plan de Dieu in the south, just a stone’s throw from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and the blend, being primarily Grenache, reflects that of its famous neighbor.
This results in a lighter, fresher wine, a low cost, accessible baby Châteauneuf-du-Pape in all but name. It’s perfect for out-door summer drinking – just pick up a few ribs off the barbecue and a glass of this delight red, preferably lightly chilled, and your all set for a splendid Memorial Day evening.
So appealing are the flavors of ripe plums and dark cherries, along with the balancing acidity, that’s it’s very hard to stop drinking this wine, talk about quaffable, so just make sure you watch out for the pool!
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