I've come across some fantastic Cotes du Rhones recently, all at affordable prices. Cotes du Rhones range in the full-body reds of Cote Rotie in the north to the prestigous Chateaneuf du Pape. Although most are acclaimed as "pizza wines" because they're typically juicy, affordable table wines. They are mostly Grenache blends or what we refer to as GSM's (grenache, syrah, mouvedre). The Rhone wine laws state that a Cotes du Rhone can be a blend of up to 23 different grapes grown in the Rhone AOC (Appellation d'Origine Controllee). *Shown below in green*
This particular Rhone is a Syrah/Grenache blend (60/40) and labelled Villages, second the Cru distinction. This appellation is only one tenth of the total Cotes du Rhone AOC. These villages have been identified as having superior vineyards and are only allowed to grow 9 different grapes instead of 23 like the rest of the Rhone Valley. One great aspect of this wine is that it is labelled Villages and retails at only $10.99!
It's a drier style with a lot of juicy fruit on the pallate including red cherry and blackberry. It's a fairly simple table wine but can easily be drank on it's own or with rustic dishes such as pizza or grilled meats. This wine isn't meant to be the star of the show but more to compliment the food. It's not a special occasion wine but one to enjoy with a friend over light appetizers.