Rhone Val­ley still of­fers wine gems

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - Weekend Life -

France’s Rhone Val­ley has been a con­stant source for high­qual­ity, well-priced wine for decades and the good news is that prices have re­mained sta­ble (un­for­tu­nately the same can­not be said for the euro) and re­cent vin­tages have been good to ex­cel­lent. You can splurge on great Chateauneu­f-du-Pape (from the south­ern half of the val­ley) or Her­mitage and Cote Rotie from the north, but the value lies in the Cotes-du-Rhone and Cotes-duRhone Vil­lages realm.

Wine­mak­ers have a broad palate of grape va­ri­etals to work with in the south­ern half of the val­ley (there are 13 red va­ri­etals per­mit­ted for Chateauneu­f-duPape) but it is Syrah and Gre­nache — and to a lesser de­gree, Mourve­dre — that steal the show in most cases. Th­ese red wines tend to be bal­anced and ver­sa­tile, de­liv­er­ing black fruits, spice (es­pe­cially black pep­per) and what the French call gar­rigue, a wild sage bush of sorts that of­ten dis­plays notes of laven­der. Here are few of my cur­rent favourites: Xavier Cotes-du-Rhones

2010 -$20

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