One of the secrets to finding good tasting affordable wine is to look at Europe's prize offerings and then look to wines they make that don't fit the famous region's rules. You can buy Cristia's Chateau Neuf du Pape for a special occasion but what about just for dinner tonight?? Then you grab their Grenache for $9!
Andre Brunel Grenache $11.00
We've found that many of the rock star wine makers in France own property outside of traditional AOC regions. While they can't charge big dollars, they can't help but make good wine. This is a good example, being a IGP Vaucluse with about all Grenache from the southern Rhone. Pretty black raspberry, fennel, and a little smoky tobacco showing on the nose. Soft fruit jumps out on the palate and its very drinkable. Buy two because they are great patio pounders.
Mas Carlot Rose $11.00
Nathalie Blanc-Marès crafts this lovely, mouthwatering rose from the Southern Rhone that is a classic blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre. It's medium-bodied, with pretty cherry, herb and stone. Another crazy good deal!
This wine isn't just fun to say, it's incredibly delicious too! Full bodied, with flavors of grapefruit, melon, and citrus. This wine has mouth watering acidity, and a minerality that is reminiscent of the Mediterranean that the vines grew along. This is sure to become your new favorite white!
From vineyards dating back to Roman times, comes this rich and full bodied blend from the lower Rhone Valley. Lovely floral and citrus nose, bold flavors of stone fruit, peach, pear and lime zest. These overlooked wines can stand up to about anything.
Kermit Lynch Cotes du Rhone $15.00
Wine geeks know of Gigondas and Vacqueras that show off Grenache like no other. Bordering both is Beaumes de Venise which is known for fortified Muscat. On a steep hillside (at 1500 ft!) twin sisters Sabine and Isabelle make this earthy, spicy blend of Grenache, Syrah and Counoise. A gorgeous wine.
Plan Pegau $19.00
A wild blend from 4 grapes and 3 different vintages! This rich, meaty red captures the essence of the Southern Rhone Valley, with layers of red and dark fruit character, soft supple tannins, and complex spice notes from extended aging in small oak barrels.