Côtes-du-Rhône Wine

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Côtes-du-Rhône Wine

For a sizeable appellation, at circa 83,800 hectares, Côtes du Rhône (and its 'Villages' AOCs) do a remarkable job of maintaining consistent quality and a style of wine that conforms with consumers expectations.

The Meffre family exemplify hands-on, quality winemaking and they produce an excellent range of highly-accessible wines, as well as their more aspirational cuvées. Their white IGP Méditerranée 'Argiles' is made from a blend of Piquepoul, Bourboulenc and Grenache Blanc that is intended to be enjoyed on its youthful fruit. With white peach and melon aromas and a sensuous palate of apricots underscored by fresh acidity, it drinks well on its own or with shellfish. A sibling rosé is blended from Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre, Carignan and Cinsault and has a lovely, coral-pink colour, a raspberry and redcurrant bouquet, wild strawberry flavours and a fresh, clean finish. Moving up the hierarchy, they make a celebrated white Sablet 'L'Oratory' from Viognier, Bourboulenc, Roussanne, Clairette and Grenache Blanc. With a bright bouquet of wild flowers and citrus zest and a wealth of white stone-fruit on a persistent palate, it drinks well with canapés or substantial salads. The principal bottling at Domaine Saint-Gayan is their red 'Trescartes' bottling - a blend of Grenache Noir, Syrah, Carignan and Mourvèdre that is fermented in cement vats and then racked in used oak for at least 18 months before bottling. With briary scents and a juicy palate of ripe red and black fruit underpinned by supple tannins, it drinks well from release and can be cellared for 2 to 5 years.

Yves Cheron's Southern Rhône négociant enterprise Pascal Frères has been faithfully supplying us for many years and daughter Elisa is now working alongside her father. Their 'Cuvée Personelle' blend comprises staples Grenache Noir and Syrah from varied soils and has a wealth of garrigue berry fruit with peppery undertones and drinks well from release.

New to this list is Richard Maby's red 'Variations'. Based on Grenache Noir along with Syrah, Mourvèdre and Carigan, it has a wealth of hedgerow-berry fruit with peppery undertones and supple tannins. We have also sourced a new white Côtes du Rhône from Muscat masters the Leydiers at Domaine de Durban. Made from a blend of Marsanne and Roussanne, it has grilled nut nuances and bags of supple white stone-fruit offset by fresh acidity. It drinks well on its own or with a wide range of seafood.

The Graillot (of Crozes-Hermitage fame) family's 'Clos Somi' hails from the tiny village of Aigueze on the Ardèche river in the Gard region. Part of the wider Côtes du Rhône AOC it's known for characteristically typical yet good value wines. This Southern Rhône blend of equal parts Cinsault, Grenache Noir and Syrah is brightly-fruited with fresh acidity and lovely depth and concentration. Little is made so worth snapping up if you spot a bottle.

Christine Vernay and her daughter Emma are more Rhône winemaking royalty who are happy to deploy neighbouring hunting grounds to extend their range. They make two excellent IGP Collines Rhodaniennes reds. 'Sainte-Agathe' hails from a parcel of mature Syrah that borders Côte-Rôtie. With a sleek black fruit bouquet and smooth plum and damson palate, it drinks well from release but can be cellared for 3 to 5 years. 'Fleurs de Mai' is, as the name suggests, quite floral and comes from vines on the top of the Condrieu plateau. With ripe red berry aromas and a beautifully-balanced red stone-fruit palate offset by fresh acidity, it is relatively forward-drinking and perfect with grilled red meats and wild mushroom dishes.

Jean-Louis Chave has skilfully sourced parcels of grapes around the hill villages of Vinsobres and Cairanne and his négociant bottling 'Mon Cœur' has developed a fiercely-loyal following. Made from Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre and Syrah, it has an abundance of brooding forest fruit with peppery undertones and smooth tannins.

Completing this comprehensive range is the Boisson family's great value 'Petit Caboche' - an IGP Vaucluse blend of Syrah, Egiodola, Caledoc and Marselan. It is made for gratifying off-the-bat consumption and has berry and cherry scents and a smooth red fruit palate balanced by fresh acidity. It serves well as a reliable stand-by for any occasion.

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  1. Côtes-du-Rhône: Domaine Alain Graillot 'Clos Somi' 2022
    Bottle
    £18.95
    Bottle (Case)
    £227.40
  2. Côtes du Rhône: Jean-Louis Chave Sélection 'Mon Coeur' 2022
    Bottle
    £17.25
    Bottle (Case)
    £207.00
    Magnum
    £36.00
    Magnum (Case)
    £216.00
  3. Yapp Côtes du Rhône Red 2022
    Bottle
    £10.95
    Bottle (Case)
    £131.40
  4. Vin de Pays de Vaucluse: Le Petit Caboche 2022
    Bottle
    £13.25
    Bottle (Case)
    £159.00
  5. Côtes du Rhône: Domaine Saint Gayan 'Trescartes' 2020
    Bottle
    £14.50
    Bottle (Case)
    £174.00
    Half Bottle
    £8.25
    Half Bottle (Case)
    £198.00
  6. Côtes-du-Rhône: Domaine Maby 'Variations' 2021
    Bottle
    £14.95
    Bottle (Case)
    £179.40
  7. Côtes du Rhône Villages Sablet: Domaine Saint Gayan 'L'Oratory' 2022
    Bottle
    £15.95
    Bottle (Case)
    £191.40
  8. Collines Rhodaniennes: Domaine Georges Vernay 'Fleurs de Mai' Syrah 2021
    Bottle
    £28.50
    Bottle (Case)
    £342.00
  9. Côtes du Rhône: Pascal Frères 'Cuvée Personelle' 2019
    Bottle
    £14.95
    Bottle (Case)
    £179.40
  10. Cairanne: Domaine Les Eschaffins Rouge 2016
    Bottle
    £16.75
    Bottle (Case)
    £201.00
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