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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.

 
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2012 Côtes-du-Rhône Coudoulet de Beaucastel 2012 Côtes-du-Rhône Coudoulet de Beaucastel
Youthful purple. Spicy, highly perfumed dark berry and Indian spice scents show very good clarity and pick up a smoky nuance with air. Densely packed but lithe too, with juicy black and blue fruit flavors and a touch of lavender adding lift. Dusty tannins shape the finish, which clings with impressive tenacity and subtle spiciness. According to Marc Perrin, the vines that provide the fruit for this wine are now over 80 years old. Rated 90-92. Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, April 2014.
$27.50 the bottle  $280.56 the case

2012 Châteauneuf‑du‑Pape Le Vieux Donjon Rouge
(75% grenache, 10% syrah, 10% mourvedre and 5% cinsault): Vivid ruby. Sexy, expansive aromas of raspberry preserves, potpourri and Asian spices show impressive clarity. Sweet, seamless and pure, offering intense red fruit and floral pastille flavors and notes of allspice and anise. The velvety, focused finish shows superb length and harmonious tannins. Rated (92-94). - Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, January/February 2014. Regularly $67.50 the bottle, on sale now at:
$50.00 the bottle

2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Château de Beaucastel Rouge 2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Château de Beaucastel Rouge
Brilliant ruby. Powerful aromas of candied blackberry, blueberry and licorice, with suggestions of lavender and cracked pepper. Lush, intensely flavored and supple in texture, offering spicy dark berry and cherry compote and olive tapenade flavors complicated by a subtle floral nuance. Finishes sappy and very long, with resonating spiciness, a hint of licorice and chewy, slow-building tannins. Rated 92-94. Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, January/February 2014.

What I think might end up being the best Beaucastel since the 1990 or 2001, the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape offers a full-bodied, decadent style to go with awesome black and blue fruits, garrigue, licorice, crushed flowers and violets. The purity here is truly something, and it has fabulous mid-palate concentration, building tannin and massive texture. Given all of the fruit and texture here, it will no doubt drink well in its youth, but it should still be alive and kicking after two decades as well. Rated 95. - Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate Issue 215, October 2014.

$100.00 the bottle  $510.00 the case of 6/750ml bottles

2011 Hermitage Blanc Chante-Alouette CHAPOUTIER
Possibly the finest cuvee of this wine I have ever tasted, the stunning, rich 2011 Ermitage Chante Alouette comes from three separate parcels on Hermitage Hill (Meal, Les Murets and Chante Alouette) and reveals plenty of white currant, buttered citrus, tangerine oil and honeysuckle along with hints of such exotic fruits as mango. It is a full-bodied, Montrachet-styled, dry white. Rated 95. - Robert M. Parker, Jr., Wine Advocate Issue 204, December 2012. Regularly $100.00 the bottle, on sale now at 50% off:
$50.00 the bottle

2011 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes Domaine de Marcoux

Inky ruby. Aromas of blackcurrant, cherry compote and potpourri display striking clarity and power, with a spicy quality adding lift. Dark berry liqueur and floral pastille flavors reach every corner of the palate, with juicy acidity adding focus. This refuses to let up on the youthfully tannic finish, which emphatically repeats the cherry and floral notes. Rated 94. ‑ Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar January/February, 2014

Even more impressive and mostly likely one of the top 10-12 wines in the vintage, the 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is an up-front, sexy and perfumed blend of close to 100% Grenache. Possessing notions of kirsch liqueur, raspberry, creamy licorice and crushed flowers, it is full-bodied, nicely concentrated and has an overall hedonistic, seamless profile that's hard to resist. I don't think it will make old bones though, and it should be at its best during its first 10-12 years of life. Don't let that deter you though as this is one delicious thrill ride of Grenache. Drink 2013-2023. Rated 95. ‑ Jeb Dunnuck, Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The Wine Advocate Issue 209, October, 2013

$175.00 the bottle  $1785.00 the case

2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Henri BONNEAU Réserve des Célestins
Looking at the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve des Celestins, which was tasted out of barrel at the domaine, it offers up a singular, exotic profile that shows the vintage perfume and freshness, as well as the slightly feral quality of this estate. Kirsch liqueur, roasted herbs, blackberry, cured meats, lavender, incense and ground pepper are just some of the nuances here. This full-bodied, concentrated effort hits the palate with authoritative richness and depth, yet stays incredibly light, fresh and even elegant. Already approachable, with a drop-dead gorgeous texture, it should certainly be worth the extra effort to track down once released. Rated (96-98). ‑ Jeb Dunnuck, Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The Wine Advocate Issue 209, October 2013
$375.00 the bottle


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