Cotes du Rhone

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CdR is wine from Rhone that does not qualify for an appellation that would demand a higher price, such as CdP. While the CdR title applies to both northern and southern Rhone, it’s typically a southern blend made primarily of grenache grapes. When buying a CdR you may see one of three things on the label:

1. Cotes du Rhone

2. Cotes du Rhone Villages

3. Cotes du Rhone Villages + village name.

These classifications simply narrow down the region the grapes came from. Don’t assume a higher classification always means it’s a better wine! You have to judge the wines yourself. We’ve tried plenty of $12 CdR that we liked better than $25 bottles. These wines are often smooth and have a nice, sometimes spicy fruit flavor. They drink well on their own or with meals. We like to have CdR with every day meals and save the nicer CdP etc. for bigger dinners. You may run into some CdR from warm vintages that are overly alcoholic or jammy…however with the average bottle being between $10-$20 don’t be afraid to try something new.

You will often times find CdR made by the same producer as a higher quality wine and this Perrin Reserve is a great example. The Perrin family also owns Chateau Beaucastel which is a world class producer of Chateauneuf du Pape. The grapes in the CdR may not have made the cut for CdP but should still be excellent at a much more affordable price. Take a good look at your labels when searching for quality CdR and you’ll increase your chances of finding a good one.

I’ve seen this bottle of 2010 Perrin Reserve CdR at numerous liquor stores in the area. It costs about $12 and here’s what we thought:

colonelgrape: 91. A solid example of CdR. Solid fruit flavor with a little kick. Smooth drinking for any situation.

MobyGrape: 88. Smooth with a little winey finish. Fine to drink on its own or a normal meal, save the good stuff for a steak or boozing alone.

Next time you’re at the wine rack take a look at the France/Rhone section and grab a bottle of CdR!

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