Fans of rich, spicy, Southern French reds, you are going to be very pleased with the 2017 Penya Cotes Catalanes Rouge! I think this might be the best, under-$15, Southern French red I’ve tasted this year. Deeply colored, almost opaque, and possessing terrific richness and Southern French charm, my newest find has to be tasted to be believed. And I’m not the only one who loved it — Jeb Dunnuck reviewed it at 92 points, calling it “a smoking value.”
2017 Penya Cotes Catalanes Rouge
92 points Jeb Dunnuck
So my buddy Steve Nelson of Grapevine (he used to run the Wine Guy South) stopped by a couple weeks ago with a wine he said I had to try. Man was he right! He poured this “little number” into my glass, and I immediately knew I was going to buy it. He asked me to guess the price. I said it would certainly run $15 to $20 per bottle. Boy was I wrong, and there’s nothing “little” about this wine at all. I was greeted with full-bodied aromas and flavors of warm berries, pepper, herbs, and flowers. And though it’s full-bodied and full-flavored, it was plush, supple, round, and soft. Delicious to say the least!
Hailing from Cases de Pene, a tiny village in the Roussillon region of France just 30 miles from the Spanish border, this is destined to become a Catalonian classic. A blend of Grenache, Carignan, Syrah, and Mourvedre from 40+ year-old, low-yielding vines, the wine is fermented in stainless steel. In case my tasting notes aren’t good enough for you, here’s what Mr. Dunnuck had to say. “Importer Dan Kravitz commented that the blend of the 2017 Côtes Catalanes was his favorite to date, and he’s been doing this cuvée since 1991. Made from 45% Grenache 33% Carignan 11% Syrah and 11% Mourvèdre, it has a beautifully pure bouquet of cassis, ground pepper, violets, and spice. Juicy, medium to full-bodied, rounded, and textured on the palate, it’s going to be another terrific vintage for this wine.”
Penya’s 2017 Côtes Catalanes comes from tiny yields and was raised all in tank. It has a rich, sweet mid-palate, medium to full-bodied richness, no hard edges and terrific notes of blackberries, peppery/spicy herbs and leather. Drink this Old World fruit bomb over the coming couple of years.” One other note on this one — enjoy it with barbecue, pizza, pasta, and/or burgers, but don’t feel like you have to have food with it.
Like I said before, this is the best, under-$15 Southern French red I’ve tried this year, and I’ve tried a bunch of them. I’d like to say the 28 cases I ordered will be around forever, but I know folks are going to love this one as much as Jeb and I did. Stop by the store and pick some up, or call us at 828.505.8588 and we can run your card over the phone. Cheers to happy drinking and eating in Asheville this summer.
Owner/Operator at Table Wine