One of my “go to” regions for great value (i.e., good quality at a reasonable price) is southern France — and more specifically Côtes du Rhône. I’m sure part of this has to do with my taste preferences, but I’ve also found that more often than not I can find good wine from this region without breaking the bank. It’s consistently good.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t pricey wines from the Rhône. There are plenty of top dollar wines produced in this region, and they can often be quite spectacular. Those are typically sold under the designations of their more specific appellations, such as Chateaunuef-du-pape, while the lower tier wines are designated by the broader region, Côtes du Rhône. But what’s funny is the bargain wines could be grown 50 feet from the top dollar appellations.
The tradition for a wine labeled as Côtes du Rhône is to blend the wine using grapes from various vineyards, and that’s the approach taken with the Samorëns Rouge.
Bright red raspberry, cherry, leather, licorice and nutmeg give this wine a complex and fabulous nose. The palate is also very bright, offering tangy cherry, raspberry and blackberry flavors with plenty of spice. The acidity is sufficient and the mouthfeel is decent. It finishes moderately long. Although it’s not a “knock my socks off” wine, it’s good — and fantastic for the price.
Wine: Ferraton Père & Fils, Côtes du Rhône, Samorëns Rouge
Variety: 85 % grenache, 10% syrah, 5% cinsault
Disclosure: This wine was received as a media sample.