I've been on a bit of a Rhone Valley wine trail the last week or so...and I've been having great fun working my way through 3 fantastic wines from (probably..) my favourite wine region..
Mas de Libian Bout d'Zan AC Cotes du Rhone 2006 RRP 14.95
A blend of Grenache (mainly) and Syrah this is a cracking bottle of wine..Ideally it needs to be opened an hour or two in advance to fully enjoy all the aromas and flavours..Having said that, quite often with this wine I just "pop and go"
Fairly full-on the wine is absolutely packed with all sorts of fruit and spice..a really enjoyable drop and one I'm sentimentally attached to (since it was the first winery we shipped directly from.. way back in the 1998 vintage!)
La Pialade 2005 AC Cotes du Rhone RRP 25.00
A wine from the Chateau Rayas (Chateauneuf du Pape) people and a real stunner.
Mostly Grenache, 80% I believe..this wine is a must for Grenache lovers..fairly light in colour, beautiful silky spicy flavours, smooth tannins..I 've tried several wines from this producer (Fonsalette and Pignan) and the quality level is outstanding. This wine also comes from the excellent 2005 vintage, pretty good across the board in France and really good in the Rhone Valley...I'm saving up and on the lookout for Chateau Rayas..its usually close enough to 100euro a bottle and hard enough to find..
Yann Chave Crozes-Hermitage 2003 RRP 19.95
A superb wine from the Northern Rhone and a really good example of what good Northern Rhone Syrah should be..elegant, spicy, savoury (its amazing how you can pick up a smoky bacon or barbecue note on the nose mixed in there so nicely with lashings of fruit and spice) A real beauty. I think the fact that it was 5 years old was a help..I tried the 2005 about a year ago and found it decent but a bit closed..I was expecting fireworks from the 2005..I got them this time with the 2003!!