A Red Cotes du Rhone

Can you get a decent French Cotes du Rhone at this price?...

Red Cotes du Rhone

Red Cotes du Rhone

I remember drinking a few red Cotes du Rhones when I was a student in Paris. It seemed that you couldn’t go wrong with these inexpensive wines. Well I’m not in Paris anymore and these wines are usually too expensive to make it into this column. But a few months ago I bought an appropriately priced bottle and finally got around to trying it. The Cotes du Rhone appellation is huge, covering over 80 thousand hectares) more than 200 thousand acres) in the vicinity of the Rhone River in southeastern France. The label discloses neither the production area nor the grapes selected from quite a range of permitted red varieties. The winery is a coop, founded in 1967, that does about 50 million bottles a year. Dauphine is an ancient province that belonged to the king’s son until the rules were changed in 1789. When you are there look for Thirteenth and Fourteenth Century fortifications and a traditional local market on Monday mornings. The companion wine is a relatively inexpensive Super Tuscan at two and a half times the price.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed
Cellier des Dauphins Carte Noire Cotes du Rhone 2011 14 % alcohol about $10.

Let’s start by quoting the marketing materials.“ “Tasting Note: Light ruby colour; spice and berry fruit aromas; rich berry fruit on the palate and spicy wood notes on the finish. Serving Suggestion : Serve with pork or veal dishes.” And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine was raw and too sweet. A potato knish (potatoes in puff pastry) gave me the taste of grapes in my glass. The wine was thin. Then came the main meal; chili made with spicy salsa over brown rice. The libation’s harshness was gone and it was actually refreshing. I got some black cherries. Zesty guacamole muted this wine. And fresh pineapple really gutted it.

The second meal focused on a chicken leg, which was roasted in a mixture of tomatoes, onions, cumin, and coriander seed. Our French friend responded with a good balance of acidity and tannins. It was quite long and offered good oak. Things did not work out quite so well with a medley of sautéed vegetables, red, orange, and yellow bell peppers accompanied by mushrooms. The liquid was lightly sweet and did not have much acidity. In response to fruit juice candy the CDR came back with nothing.

The final meal centered on slow cooked round steak. The fermented juice was lightly acidic, without much fruit. The accompanying white potatoes sharpened Red’s acidity and sweetened this liquid. The accompanying sweet potatoes took away the drink’s fruit but I did note some oak. Roasted eggplant slices brought dark cherries to the fore. Fiery green Yemeni jalapeno pepper sauce on the meat made the wine peppery.

Final verdict. I will not buy this wine again. I know that my long ago Parisien Cotes du Rhones were all better than this offering.

Access the companion wine A Relatively Inexpensive Super Tuscan.

About the Author

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His wine websites include
www.theworldwidewine.com    and    http://www.wineinyourdiet.com

Visit his website devoted to italian travel www.travelitalytravel.com

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