Two Trophy Rhone Wines…RRUFFFF!

A Tale of Two Trophies and some Late MidMod Musical Nostalgia

Remember Rhone? Rike Resterday!

Astro the Jetson’s hound filed this report about two rines from the Rhone. Kate Finn sweetheart of the Desert Wine Shop on 111 in Rancho Mirage put the Rhone idea in our head. We were unable to shake it. Result? Popped two corks on long standing cellar dwellers soon as the occasion arose; within 48 hours.

These two wines are highly reputed from the days when we were readily influenced by “label reputation.” The two wines [ed: the labels are Big Rep trophies] retain alot of cachet today. Both wines are for “trophy hunters.” Fortunately, tBoW tasters learned decades ago it is better to drink what we like and leave the trophies to the hunters. Fact of things are we are fans of two red grapes from the Rhone; Grenache and Mourvedre. Both are from Southern Rhone and neither are in these bottles.

What is our problem with Syrah? Too much body. The wines made from Syrah are often deep and tannic. Like drinking crayons. These wines are from the Northern Rhone with the big collector names and prices to match. Here is a decent site to learn more on your own about the “fabled” Rhone. [https://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/wine-topics/wine-educational-questions/grapes-for-wine-making-flavor-characteristics-explained/guide-to-rhone-valley-wine-grapes-for-red-and-white-wine/]

Grenache is from the Southern Rhone. It is the grape we would favor even though regional practices favor making wines in the “big” style. We much prefer the Spanish wines made from “Garnacha.” Mourvedre is the other Southern Rhone staple. It is inherently more lean and the regional winemakers tend to leave it that way. Unfortunately, Mourvedre (moor-ved) is the lowest priority grape to be bottled within the tradition driven wine region [ed: Is there a wine region NOT driven by tradition?].

tBow prefers delicacy over fruit bomb. So that pretty much takes Northern Rhone RED wines off the table. Both wines reviewed below hail from the Northern Rhone [ed. Please refrain form using the word “hail” when discussing wine.]. We leave it to the Field Mouse to expound on the merits of WHITE Rhone grapes (Viognier, Grenache others?) and white wines in general from the Rhone [insert Mouse links]. Finally, the red wines in the South commonly blend their red wines with white grapes. [ed: hhhnnnhhh.] As my godmother would have said “so that!”

2007 Cornas Coteaux Tardieu-Laurent 13%. Could not find this bottle online. A Wine Speculator reviewer wrote “kaleidoscope of spice, fruit, toast and mineral notes develop together.” Makes you dizzy, right? Much lesser tasters thought the wine was fruity with plenty of tannin. In our humble view the wine was free of HINTS and NUANCES. The bottle was cool from our superb cellar tomb so we had to impatiently let it sit awhile. Very spicy, some ash and sweet pepper.

2012 St. Cosme Cote Rotie 12.5%. $80 online. One can still find this hot ticket label in every prestige wine shop; from a more recent vintage. This particular bottle is available online. Barbecue capable. 100% Syrah. We would pair this with some flash grilled skirt steak and plenty grilled veggies. Medium to light weight, almost creamy.

This is what happens when one buys trophy labels. Taste enough trophies and you may conclude better to win the trophy than to taste it. The cupboard is bare now. Thanks Kate. We still love the shop and plan to visit before temps get unpleasantly deadly this summer.

Now for some late midcentury trophy hunter music!

2 Comments

  1. Wavatar
    Kris-B says:

    You’re drinking the wrong Northern Rhones if you think they are fruit bombs IMO

  2. Wavatar
    MAUS says:

    SoRhone are bombier. St Joseph and Cote Rotie are complex.
    Hey there Maestro, what about white Rhone i.e. ROUSSANNE!!!

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