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The great Rhône river flows from its source in the Swiss Alps through the east and southeast of France. It has carved out the valley which supplies us with among the very finest of wines we may offer (Côte-Rotie, Hermitage and Châteauneuf-du-Pape, for example), not to mention among the finest values in wines with its myriad brilliant southern Côtes-du-Rhône.

Quick-links to featured wines:
2014 Hermitage Blanc Chante-Alouette M. Chapoutier   Plan Pegau Vin de France   2014 Côtes-du-Rhône Coudoulet de Beaucastel   2014 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Château de Beaucastel Rouge   2015 Château Guiot Costières de Nîmes  
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2014 Hermitage Blanc Chante-Alouette M. Chapoutier 2014 Hermitage Blanc Chante-Alouette M. Chapoutier

Produce of fruit from three vineyard sites, Le Méal with loose alluvial soils with a prevalence of glacial stones, Les Murets more granitic soils with similar alluvial deposits and its namesake Chante-Alouette with loess soils with a fine layer of clay and limestone. The fruit is hand-harvested and fermented partly in 600-litre demi-muid, partly in vat at controlled temperatures with regular stirring of the lees. Typically stately Marsanne aromatics save this up-front toasty, yeasty quality which just melts into more discreet hints of honey-laden beeswax and freshly rain-soaked straw (Philipp noted fig and hazelnut, then honeysuckle and lime); extravagant on entry, rich, slippery smooth and emollient on the tongue (the wonderful tactile qualities of this wine should not be understated), sumptuous even, yet with nerve and spine and an ever so satisfying nature to its core; one might reasonably deduce that Hermitage Blanc such as this is white wine with a certain preeminence.

$100.00 the bottle  $510.00 the case of 6

2014 Côtes-du-Rhône Coudoulet de Beaucastel 2014 Côtes-du-Rhône Coudoulet de Beaucastel

Another great 2014 is the 2014 Coudoulet de Beaucastel Côtes du Rhône, which comes from a parcel located just a stone’s throw from the Chateau, on the other side of the A7 highway. Offering lots of sweet cherries, cedar, white pepper and spice, it’s medium-bodied, charming and downright delicious. It’s always one of the longer lived Côtes du Rhône out there and should drink nicely through 2024. Rated 88. - Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate Issue 227, October, 2016

$26.25 the bottle  $267.72 the case

Plan Pegau Vin de France

A multi-vintage blend produced mainly from grapes typical of the area including Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault and Alicante, but with an added twist of Cabernet, Merlot and something called Danlas from vineyards just outside Châteauneuf-du-Pape and from the venerable producer Domaine de Pégaü. Technically a «Vin de France» (given the unorthodox blend of grapes), more realistically a «vin de plaisir et compléxite» for not too much money and for true lovers of fine southern Rhône wines. Rustic farmhouse red aromas suggestive of ripe berries, sun-baked Provençal herbs and hot summer rain-drenched limestone (yeah, really!). Super-transparent, feral aromas of ripe berry, leather and what the old-timers call «garrigue», which is a kind of combination of all the sun-roasted underbrush of the area including wild-thyme, lavender, rosemary, broom and more; with a gentle intensity of nervous jittery tannins and firm stony textural backdrop carrying flavors that deliver tried and true on the promise of the oh so genuine aromas of the area. Brian says we should note that the structure of the wine might best call for accompaniment of a well-herbed, savory, slow cooked roast or a creamy rich piece of cheese or two. Mmmm...

$17.50 the bottle  $178.56 the case

2015 Mas de Guiot Grenache Syrah Pays du Gard 2015 Château Guiot Costières de Nîmes

This small château is located near the town of Saint-Gilles just west of the Rhône River some 5 miles from the Mediterranean Sea. It is owned an operated by the Cornut family — Sylvia is the oenologist, with her husband François and their two sons tending to the vineyards. The rocky soils here are reminiscent of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and the fruit is always picked late, ensuring deep and profound wines with soft tannins. François is meticulous in his viticultural practices and is a believer in sustainable agriculture, using no synthetic herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers on any of his vineyards or crops. Sylvia and the boys take over in the winery (the boys work a lot) where she ferments all fruit separately in stainless steel tanks by varietal and by vineyard site. This 2015 Château Guiot Costières de Nîmes is a blend of hand-harvested Grenache and Syrah fruit; very primary aromas of fleshy ripe grapes and grape pomace with suggestion of blue plum, kirsch and a good healthy winegrowing earth; just full and fruity and round on the tongue with nice crisp bright acids and supple tannins lending the gentlest astringency and keeping things refreshing and vibrant to the long and flavorful finish. At its ultra-attractive price, this is real value for those of us hard-working central Texans who enjoy really good wine but who may, from time to time, need their wine dollars to stretch on out a bit.

$8.75 the bottle  $89.28 the case

512 West Sixth Street Austin, Texas 78701-2806 USA
(an easy right turn between San Antonio and Nueces streets)