Be warned – this is a stellar vintage, the greatest since the extraordinary 2010. Of course, 2016 is great too, and even 2015, which in Saint Cosme was memorable. But there is a freshness, an intensity, an evanescence, something undefinable that is charming and vibrant in the 2019s. Blackberry, smoked bacon, charcoal, blueberry, rose.
Typically thought of as a baby Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the term Côtes du Rhone actually doesn’t merely apply to the flatter outskirts of the major southern Rhône appellations, it also includes the fringes of well-respected northern Rhône appellations. White can be produced under the appellation name, but very little is actually made.
The region offers some of the best values in France and even some first-rate and age-worthy reds. Red varieties include most of the Chateauneuf-du-Pape varieties like Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, and Counoise, as well as Carignan. White grapes grown include Grenache blanc, Roussanne and Viognier, among others.