Côte du Rhône Villages
I was roasting chicken on a bed of leeks, carrots, lavender, and rosemary, so I asked my husband to pull a bottle of something from the Northern or Southern Rhône, preferably a rustic Côte du Rhône: not too complex, somewhat earthy. This bottle seemed to fit the bill, but we were surprised by its deep, violaceous color and heady nose. It delivers the scent of warm blackberries—a smell that's very much in the air this early September—plus sweet tobacco, chocolate, cherry, anise, and almond. On the palate it's buxom, offering more almond and cherry, plus an earthy plumminess. It finishes hot—not surprising since it's 14.5% alcohol.
While it's lovely in its own way, the heat and fruit overwhelmed the Provençal chicken and vegetables. It seems a wine designed to please those accustomed to fruit-forward, heady reds, so while it's fun, it didn't deliver the Rhônish typicity and food friendliness we were looking for. It would probably be a bomber with steak. Maybe tomorrow.
Drinks like: $21
Bang for the buck: 100% (just don't serve it with roasted chicken)
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