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More Red Wings and Red Rhônes 2015

Following up on the 6 wines I reported on earlier this week, here’s the Rhône-down on the rest of what we’ve been enjoying lately, starting with our house red. (Click images to enlarge.)

2012 Domaine Sainte Anne Rouge Côtes du Rhône, 14.5% alc., $12.99: We’ve been fans of this producer for some time now; we went through quite a bit of the 2011 version of this wine over a two-year period, and we loved every bottle, but it finally dried up and we couldn’t find any more. This vintage showed up during the past summer, and in the short time since I first tried it in August, it has really come around nicely. At that time, it was a bit tight and quite earthy, but in just five months, the earthiness has softened some, and that violet character that I love so much has really come to the fore, along with a lovely core of dark plum and berry fruit and a subtle herbaceous note. Full bodied, well-structured and very nicely balanced, this is delightful now, and it should continue to age and develop gracefully over the next five years or more. This is my favorite everyday red, period. Frankly, I’d rather drink this than many more expensive selections. It has everything I could want from a good red wine. Find this wine

Imported by A.H.D. Vintners, Warren, MI

2012 Domaine La Garrigue Côtes du Rhône Cuvée Romaine, 14.5% alc., $13.97: Past vintages of this wine have been well-received here at Gang Central, so it’s always fun to see what new versions have to offer. This one shows clean, dark color, with rich, earthy black fruit on the nose that echoes and expands nicely on the palate. Big and burly, but by no means rough, it’s rich and delicious, with the earth and fruit playing terrific counterpoint to each other. Structured to age and improve for several years, but it’s so good already, from the moment the cork is pulled, and it just gets better and better as it opens over 4 hours or so. Take the journey yourself or give it an hour in a decanter; either way, I’m betting you’ll like this, as it’s one of the best Côtes-du-Rhônes I’ve had in the last year or more. Find this wine

Imported by European Cellars, Charlotte, NC

2006 Domaine du Grand Tinel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 375 ml, 15% alc., $17.99: Clean, dark color, with earthy leather, smoke and black in both flavor and aroma; somewhat poopy on the nose. Nicely balanced and structured for several years of further development, this is starting to show some nice secondary characteristics, helped along, no doubt, by the 375 ml format, and doesn’t show any heat to speak of, despite the alcohol level. I enjoyed every sip of this delicious Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Find this wine

Imported by Michael Corso, Oak Park, IL

2012 M. Chapoutier Cotes du Roussillon Villages Domaine De Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem, 14.4% alc., $17.99: Deep, dark color, not quite opaque; earth, iron and black fruit aromas follow through nicely on the palate, and a leathery briar-bramble emerges with air. Full bodied, fairly rich and quite enjoyable already, yet structured for a good 5 years and more in the cellar, so you know this will get better with some time. Very much like I remember the fine 2009 I reported on last year. Find this wine

Imported by HB Wine Merchants, New York, NY

2012 Caves Saint-Pierre Gigondas, 11-14% alc., $14.99: Clean, dark color, with earth, iron, underbrush and black fruit aromas and plenty more of the same on the palate, all shaded with a hint of cola and nice leathery nuances as it opens. Perhaps a bit riper than old school Gigondas, but otherwise, traditional in style. Full bodied, and structured for a decade or more in the cellar. Great with all things lamb, and while I like it just fine, I like the Vacqueyras from this producer a little better, and it costs 2 bucks less. Find this wine

Imported by Latitude Wines, Inc., Danville, CA

2011 Famille Perrin Vinsobres Les Cornuds, 14.5% alc., $15,99: Deep and dark in color, with earthy black plum and berry flavors and aromas, accented with some subtle briar/bramble. Full bodied and structured for 5-8 years or more in the cellar, yet more than approachable now. I haven’t liked everything I’ve tried from the Perrins over the past few years, but I have no complaints with this one. I’d like to try it again in a few years to see how it develops. Find this wine

Imported by Vineyard Brands, Birmingham, AL

2011 Mas de Boislauzon Côtes du Rhône Villages, 13% alc., $16.99: Clean, very dark color, with earthy black plum, blackberry and black cherry on the nose; flavors echo with a note of something resembling balsa and chocolate. A big wine that’s structured for several years in the cellar, this is another one that’s not exactly traditional in style, but it’s not so “international” in style as to be disgusting. I like it, actually. Find this wine

Imported by Wines of France, Inc., Mountainside, NJ

2012 Domaine Courtois Côtes du Rhône La Source, 85% Grenache, 15% Syrha, 13.5% alc., $11.99: Clean, dark color, and showing a little heat both on the nose and in the mouth. Earthy black plum and black berry character, with a hint of chocolate; full bodied, with plenty of structure for several years of development. A solid Cotes du Rhone that offers good value for the money. Find this wine

Imported by A.H.D. Vintners, Warren, MI

2011 Domaine Galevan Côtes du Rhône Paroles de Femme, 60% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 10% Cinsault, 10% Carignan, 14.5% alc., $17.99: I loved the 2007 version of this wine, so it was an easy choice for RR & RW. It shows clean, dark color and exudes an intense, almost liqueur-like nose that echoes and expands on the palate, with an extracted, sun-baked character. Full bodied, with at least 3-5 years of structure, this offers blackberry liqueur, earth and hints of leather and smoke. It would be interesting to see how this develops, because, while interesting and enjoyable, it’s not exactly typical, and I’m not sure I’d buy it again at this price. Find this wine

Imported by Johns Island Imports, LLC, Edwardsville, IL

Reporting from Day-twah,

geo t.

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