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Chantepierre Cotes du Rhone

Serious Cotes du Rhone Value – Domaine de Chantepierre

The 2016 Domaine de Chantepierre is a serious Cotes du Rhone Value and one of the best red wine deals I’ve encountered this year!  I tasted this one with Henri Gabriel, owner Advintage Distributing, about a month ago while in Charleston.  From the first sniff, I knew I was going to buy this wine.  Why?  Because it literally lit up every olfactory receptor in my being. Lovely warm and ripe berry fruits, a whiff of pepper and herbes de Provence just exploded out of the glass.  I took a sip.  Wow!  Concentrated and mouth-filling, yet supple and soft, I knew I had found the new Case of the Month.  It’s the 2016 Domaine de Chantepierre Cotes du Rhone Rouge, it is scrumptious, and it can be yours for less than $10/bottle!  Join us this Saturday, June 24th any time between 2-5 p.m. to taste this one along with 9 other wines at our Super Saturday Wine Tasting!  Here’s the deal:

2016 Domaine de Chantepierre Cotes du Rhone Rouge – On Sale Through Saturday, July 22nd

Regular Price: $12.99/bottle

Sale Price: $9.99/bottle on your solid case — Over 20% off!!!

If you know me, you know I love me some Cotes du Rhone and this is one of the best I’ve ever found for the money.  One of the most versatile red wines out there, it’s ideal for sipping solo or for pairing with all sorts of different dishes.  From grilled meats and stews to burgers and sausages, it just makes everything taste better.  A classic blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre, this one is fermented entirely in stainless steel to preserve purity and freshness. Upon pouring, the wine shows a nice deep color and the nose is rich and decadent with notes of kirsch, cassis, plum, spice and rosemary.  The palates shows a similar flavor profile, but it’s the texture of the wine that most impressed me.  Possessing ripe and fine grained tannin and relatively low acidity, this Cote du Rhone value glides across the palate seamlessly.

Oh yeah, what about the producer Josh?  In case you didn’t know, we specialize in wines from family-run wineries, and this is certainly one of those.  Domaine de Chantepierre has belonged to Christian Paly’s family for over 500 years!  That’s all?  In all seriousness, this passing down of the land and the vineyards from generation to generation is the primary reason that this estate makes consistently great wines.  The family knows the land, the grapes, the climate, and how to overcome the many challenges encountered by grape farmers.  They certainly figured it out in this vintage!

That’a about all I’ve got to say about this one.  One more reminder — stop by this Saturday any time between 2-5 p.m. and try this stuff.  Hopefully, you’ll be as blown away as me!  Can’t make it, but want to buy some because you trust me?  Just stop by the store or email me at josh@tablewineasheville.com.  Cheers and happy drinking and eating in Asheville.

Josh Spurling
Owner/Operator at Table Wine
828.505.8588
josh@tablewineasheville.com

Taste some robust European Red Wines at Table Wine in Asheville, NC.

Free on Fridays Wine Tasting – Robust European Red Wines

Friday, February 17th from 4-7pm — Get your weekend off to a good start with free wine tasting featuring some hearty and robust European Reds!

This is guaranteed to be the best free wine tasting in Asheville as we’ll be pulling the corks on some fuller styled, full flavored and complex European red wines.  First in the lineup is the fresh and lively Chat Fou Cotes du Rhone from France’s Eric Texier.  Primarily Grenache, with 20% white varietals, it is plump, juicy, earthy and spicy with notes of red fruits, white pepper, earth and forest floor.  Up next is the stunning, Wine Advocate 92 point rated Monastrell from Enrique Mendoza, one of Spain’s masters of the varietal. Warm, rich, and laced with spicy dark fruit, this soft and full bodied red sells for less than $15!  To finish up, you’ll get to sample a true masterpiece of Spain’s Ribera del Duero zone.  100% Tempranillo from the hot, dry, and sun drenched vineyards, the Torre de Golban Reserva is firm, layered, and complex with notes of dark fruits, tobacco leaf, dark chocolate and exotic spices………it’s also less than $25 which is incredibly rare for Ribera Reservas.  All you have to do is stop by, taste, learn and save big on all of the tasting wines.

Can’t make it by, but want to place an order?  Just email us at josh@tablewineasheville.com.

The Wines
Save big on all of the tasting wines!  Mix any 3 of them and save 10%, mix any 6 and save 15%, or mix any 12 and save 20%!

1. 2014 Eric Texier Cotes du Rhone Rouge “Chat Fou” (Rhone Valley, France) – Eric Texier is one crazy cat (Chat Fou means pesky or crazy cat) and we are told that many of his winemaking friends refer to him with that nickname.  He has no formal winemaking training, he makes close to 30 different wines, and he has a cult following…..we are members of that “cult.”  This one is 80% Grenache with 20% white varietals (Clairette, Viognier, Chasselas) that comes from various parts of the Rhone.  It is pure, soulful, highly drinkable red wine from one of our favorite producers.
Tasting Price: $15.29 on mixed 3-packs | $14.44 on mixed 6-packs | $13.59 on mixed cases

2. 2014 Enrique Mendoza Monastrell “La Tremenda”  (Alicante, Spain) – One of the great Monastrell champions and red wine producers of Southern Spain, this wine is an absolute joy to drink.  “La Tremenda” is a single plot of old Monastrell vines grown in the rugged and arid region of Alicante………..the vine truly struggles here and the resulting wines are intense and distinctive.  This year’s release is incredible when you consider the price — full bodied, silken in texture, and lengthy on the finish, it offers up ripe and accessible notes of dark cherry, blueberry, plum and cocoa.  92 points The Wine Advocate
Tasting Price: $12.59 on mixed 3-packs | $11.89 on mixed 6-packs | $11.19 on mixed cases

3. 2012 Atalayas Torre de Golban Reserva (Ribera del Duero, Spain) – We poured this not long ago at our first Super Saturday Wine Tasting and it was the first wine to sell out.  The sister winery and neighbor to the region’s famed Dominio de Atuata, this is 100% Tempranillo (from 60-80 year old vineyards) and it exudes classic Ribera del Duero sophistication, power, and class.  Just over 350 cases were produced and the wine saw 18 months aging in French oak barriques.  Showing firm, yet ripe notes of dark fruits along with tons of secondary complexity, this is one of the best Ribera Riservas we’ve ever offered for the price……………these wines tend to start at $35 and go up from there.  Enjoy!
Tasting Price: $22.49 on mixed 3-packs | $21.24 on mixed 6-packs | $19.99 on mixed cases

Asheville's Best Free Wine Tasting

Mediterranean Wines from Importer Eric Solomon

Join us for Asheville’s best free wine tasting this Saturday, July 9th from 2-5 p.m.!  We’ll pour an all-star batch of Mediterranean wines from importer Eric Solomon including our new Wine of the Week, the 2014 Chateau Saint-Roch Kerbuccio.  When it comes to Mediterranean varietals, specifically Grenache and Syrah, Charlotte-based importer Eric Solomon can do no wrong.  His portfolio includes top flight producers from the Rhone, the Languedoc-Roussillon, and Spanish Catalunya, and we’re going to let you taste some of his all time greats. Stop by, taste some classic Mediterranean wines, learn, and save big on all of the featured tasting wines.

The Wines
On all tasting wines, save 10% off by the bottle, 15% off when you mix six of them, or 20% off when you mix a case or more of them!

1. 2015 Herencia Altes Garnatxa Blanca (Terra Alta, Spain) – The beautiful Nuria Altes comes from a long line of grape growers in Terra Alta, one of the largest DO’s in Spain’s Catalunya region.  After years of selling the family’s grapes to larger operations, Nuria started estate bottling her own wines in 2010 and we’re glad she did!  Her White Grenache comes from vineyards that range in age from 25 to 100+ years old, and the resulting wine is fermented in stainless steel and concrete eggs.  Fresh, dry, and expressing lovely old vine character in the form of lemon, pear and complex mineral notes, this is a year in and year out great value.
Tasting Price: $10.79/bottle | $10.19 in mixed six packs | $9.59 in mixed cases

2. 2015 Herencia Altes Garnatxa Negra (Terra Alta, Spain) – The red wine from Herencia Altes is 100% Grenache (Garnatxa is the Catalan name) from old vines planted in sandy clay limestone soils. Fermented entirely in concrete tank, it is a wonderfully pure version of Grenache that shows the grapes true essence.  Ripe cherry, raspberry, white pepper, and subtle mineral notes inform the nose and palate of this soft and supple, medium bodied red wine.
Tasting Price: $10.79/bottle | $10.19 in mixed six packs | $9.59 in mixed cases

3. 2014 Chateau Saint-Roch “Kerbuccio” Maury Sec (Roussillon, France) – It’s our Wine of the Week, and it’s one of the best red wines we’ve ever encountered from this appellation.  A somewhat mysterious blend of classic Southern French/Mediterranean varietals, it is nonetheless a stunning example of how good Southern French wine can be when made by an expert like Jean-Marc Lafage.  Eric Solomon’s website lists the blend as being Grenache, Carignan and Mourvedre, but Jeb Dunnuck of The Wine Advocate says its Syrah, Mourvedre and Carignan.  Whatever the case, it is a rich, sumptuous, and silky red wine flowing with ripe blueberry, cassis, dark raspberry and a host of other yummy notes.  Click here to read more.
Tasting Price: $19.79/bottle | $18.69 in mixed six packs | $17.59 in mixed cases

Glories of Grenache Wine Tasting - Best free wine tasting in Asheville.

The Glories of Grenache Wine Tasting

Try Three For Free Wine Tasting this Saturday, April 23rd from 2-5 p.m. — Come experience the glories of Grenache, the grape responsible for some of the greatest wines of the Mediterranean!  Stop by Table Wine in South Asheville this Saturday for Asheville’s best wine tasting.  This week, you’ll get to experience Grenache/Garnacha/Garnatxa (whatever you want to call it) in it’s full glory.  Grenache tends to yield wines with lots of ripe fruit and spicy notes along with soft tannin and low acidity.  This Satruday, we’ll pour you a delicious white version of the grape from Catalonia in Spain, a new Cotes du Rhone from France’s Southern Rhone, and an old vine version from Spain’s northeastern Emporda region.  Stop by any time between 2 and 5, taste, learn, and save up to 20% off on all of the tasting wines.

All of the featured tasting wines are on sale the day of the tasting: take 10% off if you mix any 3, 15% off if you mix any 6, or 20% off if you mix any 12.

The Wines

1. 2014 Herencia Altes Garnatxa Blanca (Terra Alta, Spain) – Nuria Altes and her family tend old vineyards in the Catalonian region of Terra Alta, just southwest of Priorat.  The Altes have owned these vineyards for many years, but in 2010 Nuria decided to stop selling her grapes to the local cooperative. Today, she and her partner Rafael de Haan make red and white Garnatxa from very old vines, some over 100 years old.  The resulting wine is fermented in stainless steel and foudre to create a fresh, elegant, and aromatically intriguing white wine.  Lemon oil, pear, honeysuckle and mineral inform the nose and palate of this incredible white wine value.
Tasting Price: $10.89 in mixed 3-packs | $10.19 in mixed six packs | $9.59 in mixed cases


2. 2014 La Solitude Cotes du Rhone (Southern Rhone Valley,France) – This old, family operated estate can trace its roots in the region back to 1450! In fact, the Lancon family count Pope Urban VIII and two cardinals amongst their ancestors, and they have been one of the most influential and important families when it comes to the history of Chateauneuf du Pape.  Funny enough, their Cotes du Rhone comes from vineyards surrounding that prestigious appellation.  Composed of 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 15% Cinsault and 5% Carignan, the wine is fermented in a traditional manner in stainless steel and older oak foudres.  Showing classic Southern Rhone character with a nice mix of fruit, spice and earth, this is a great version of Cotes du Rhone from a classic estate.
Tasting Price: $13.49 on mixed 3-packs | $12.74 on mixed 6-packs | $11.99 on mixed cases

3. 2013 Espelt Garnacha Old Vines (Emporda, Spain) – The Espelt family have farmed steep, hillside vineyards in the back country parts of Emporda in Northeastern Spain for centuries.  Today, the lovely Anna Espelt steers the ship at this certified organic estate, and she has great “stuff” to work with in the form of 95 year old vines grown in rocky slate and granite soils.  The wine is fermented in tank and aged for 3 months in French oak, and the result is what Robert Parker called “a gorgeous wine to enjoy over the next several years.”  Rich, intense, seamless and flowing with ripe strawberry, briery mountain fruit, pepper and Mediterranean herbs, this qualifies as one of the great red wine values in the world.
Special Wine of the Weeks Price: $12.59/bottle | $11.89 by the six pack | $11.19 by the case

Josh Spurling
Owner/Operator/Wine Buyer
Table Wine Asheville
828.505.8588 or josh@tablewineasheville.com

Grenache Lovers Unite

Try Three For Free – Grenache Lovers Unite!

Asheville’s Best Free Wine Tasting – Grenache Lovers Unite!! – This Saturday, September 5th from 2-5 p.m. – Grenache is one of the most loved and planted grapes on the planet, and it can be the source of everything from simple Cotes du Rhones and Spanish Garnachas to grandiose Chateauneuf du Papes.  Stop by the store this Saturday any time between 2-5 p.m. to taste the different styles of Grenache that are produced throughout the Mediterranean areas of France and Spain.  Taste, learn, and save up to 20% off on all of the tasting wines this Saturday!

The Wines
On all of the tasting wines, save 10% off by the bottle, 15% off if you mix any six of them, or 20% off if you mix any twelve of them!

1. 2014 Moillard Cotes du Rhone Blanc “Les Violettes” (Southern Rhone Valley, France) – We already sell the heck out of this producers red Cotes du Rhone so adding the white was a natural fit for the store.  Mainly Grenache Blanc with smaller amounts of Roussanne and Viognier, this stainless steel fermented white is full bodied, plush, and beautifully aromatic.  Ripe peach, apricot, and honeysuckle notes explode out of the glass of this extreme value white.
Tasting Price: $10.69/bottle | $10.19 in a mixed six pack | $9.59 in a mixed case

2. 2013 Moillard Cotes du Rhone Rouge “Les Violettes” (Southern Rhone Valley, France) – Can you say comfort wine?  This Grenache/Syrah blend is full bodied and full flavored, and it’s as smooth as silk.  Boasting aromas and flavors of kirsch, strawberry jam, plum, and peppery spice, it makes for a perfect house or party wine.
Tasting Price: $10.69/bottle | $10.19 in a mixed six pack | $9.59 in a mixed case

3. 2013 Ludovicus Garnacha (Terra Alta, Spain) – Not far from Priorat, the vineyards of Terra Alta produce some dramatically delicious Garnacha-based wines.  This one is 100% varietal and it sees aging in French and American oak for a scant four months.  The resulting wine is warm and inviting with spice accented berries and just a slight whiff of toasty oak and vanilla.
Tasting Price: $14.39/bottle | $13.59 in a mixed six pack | $12.79 in a mixed case

Asheville's Best Free Wine Tasting!

Delicious Grenache-Based Wines of Southern France

The best way to learn about wine is to taste it, and we conduct one of Asheville’s Best Free Wine Tastings every Saturday from 2 to 5.  This week, it’s a Grenache Lovers dream tasting featuring a quartet of Grenache-based wines from the Rhone Valley and the Roussillon region of Southern France.  As you can see in the picture above, Grenache can grow where many other things can’t and it can keep growing for a long time. Surprisingly, the resulting wines don’t taste nearly as “rough” as these vineyards look.  The soul of Southern French wine(s), it comes in three different colors too!  We’ll taste them all and we’ll tell you more than you ever wanted to know about one of the most prolific grape varieties on the planet.  All you have to do is stop by!

First up, the 2013 Les Vignerons St. Hilaire D’Ozilhan Cotes du Rhone Blanc “Prestige Cuvée” has a very long and hard to pronounce name, but there’s nothing complicated about the wines .  Mainly Grenache Blanc, with smaller amounts of Viognier, Roussanne and Clairette, it’s a pretty, aromatic white wine laced with white peach, golden apple and delicate floral notes.  The second white, the 2012 Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Blanc is a blend of Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Macabeu.  Fuller, richer and more powerful than the first white, it offers up notes of peach, green fig, fennel and a saline edged minerality typically encountered in much more expensive wines.

Moving on to the reds, the 2011 Domaine de Couron Cotes du Rhone is 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah from vineyards approaching 50 years of age.  A classic, medium bodied, bistro-styled red, it displays ripe berry fruits along with notions of roasted herb, pepper and earth.  To finish up, the 2012 Les Vignes de Bila Haut Rouge is a tank aged blend of Grenache, Syrah and Carignan.  Boasting deep aromas of blackberry, black cherry and peppery/spicy/herbal stuff, it’s a ton of wine for the money.  That’s all folks, the only left for you to do is stop by and “get your Grenache on.”

Tasting wines are 10% off by the bottle, 15% off when you mix any six of them and 20% off if you mix twelve! 

The Wines
Prices range from $11 to $17

 1. 2013 Les Vignerons St. Hilaire D’Ozilhan Cotes du Rhone Blanc
(Southern Rhone Valley, France)

 2. 2012 Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Blanc
(Cotes du Roussillon, France)

 3. 2011 Domaine de Couron Cotes du Rhone
(Southern Rhone Valley, France)

 4. 2012 Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Rouge
(Cotes du Roussillon, France)

Grenache Tasting at Table Wine Asheville

“545” Wine Tasting – Grenache Getdown – Friday, May 24th., 2013 – 4:00 to 7:00 pm

Grenache is one of the most prolific and productive grape varieties on the planet.  It is now planted, in varying amounts, in almost every major wine producing zone in the world, but southern France and northern Spain have more under plantation than anywhere else.  It can produce wines of both a regal and a humble character.  From Chateauneuf du Pape and Priorat (regal) to Cotes du Rhone and Spanish Garnacha (often humble), the grape produces wines that vary greatly in price and style.  In its simplest form, it yields a light to medium bodied, freshly fruited, peppery red wine, however, at its peak, it produces deeply colored, long lived wines that are considered some of the finest in the world.

If you find all of this confusing, stop by this Friday and we’ll talk and taste you through five different Grenache based wines from Spain and France.  We’ll start with a couple of whites (yes, there is a white version of the grape as well) that are both dry, exotic and “summery”, before we move on to the reds.  The first red is from the southern, Languedoc region of France, and it is packed with flavors of fresh berries, spices and herbs.  We’ll follow that up with a big, smooth Garnacha from the northern sector of Spain that tastes like $30, but costs a lot less.  We’ll finish up with a big, strapping, ageworthy Cotes du Rhone Villages from the fantastic 2010 vintage………..this one is great now with grilled meats, but it’s definitely a cellar candidate too.
$5/person…..Free for Grape Nuts

The Wines You’ll Get To Taste

1. 2011 Herencia Altes Garnatxa Blanca (Terra Alta, Spain) – The Altes family have some of the oldest white Grenache vineyards in the world, and some of the fruit that makes it into this bottles is close to 100 years old.  Aromatic, crisp and fresh, this one brims with white peach, tropical fruits and mineral notes.  It works great as an aperitif and loves fresh fish or simple tapas.

2. 2012 Domaine de Bila Haut Cotes du Roussillon (Roussillon, France) – Bila Haut is the Roussillon outpost of the Chapoutier family, one of the most famous and respected winemaking families in southern France.  Their vineyards are farmed organically, using biodynamic techniques as well, and this wine is a blend of Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Macabeu.  Apricot, pear, and honeysuckle/floral notes inform the nose of this fresh and zesty white wine custom made for back porch sipping or serving with fresh, Asheville farmer’s market veggies.

3. 2011 Devois de Perret Coteaux du Languedoc (Languedoc, France) – This wine is straight up charming!  A blend of organically grown Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre, it is a red wine that “over warm” you during the warmer months.  Fresh berries, classic southern French spice and herb notes and low tannin/astringency make this a low cost wine to buy in quantity for your summer cook outs and casual drinking.

4. 2011 Filon “Real” Garnacha (Calatayud, Spain) – You’ll need to hit the “reset” button on your senses before you taste this one as it is quite different than #3.  Registering at 15% alcohol, this is big, fat, opulent Spanish Garnacha from old, organically cultivated vineyards in northern Spain.  Ripe blueberry, kirsch, clove, nutmeg and vanilla inform the nose and palate of this rich, pleasure bent offering.

5. 2010 Domaine de la Bastide Cotes du Rhone Villages “Visan” (Southern Rhone Valley, France) – Vintage 2010 was a nearly perfect one in the southern Rhone.  Hot, dry and sunny, the late ripening Grenache reached its fullest potential and yielded wines like this one.  Big, rugged and packed with dark berries, mineral, spice and herb, this one is deserving of your best grilled meat dish or a cool cellar.  Buy it in quantity, drink some now, lay some down and call it a good day.

Purchase any 6+ bottles of the tasting wines and we’ll give you a 15% discount!

Go Grenache Wine Tasting – Friday, March 22, 2013 – 4:00 to 7:00 pm

Grenache is one of the most planted grape varieties on the planet and our little South Asheville wine shop is going to be Grenache Central this Friday.  Born in Spain’s Aragon region, in the northern part of the country, it has made itself at home in many areas and regions that enjoy warm and dry conditions.  From southern France to Spain to Sardinia, this prolific workhorse of a grape creates some of the world’s most beloved wines.  Ever heard of Chateauneuf du Pape, Priorat, Cotes du Rhone?  In almost all of these wines, Grenache, Garnatxa, Garnacha or whatever you want to call it is the grape driving the bus.

For this Friday’s tasting, we’ll sample a white one, a pink one and three reds this Friday and you should leave with a much better understanding of the grape and the types of wines it produces.  Join us as we explore the ups, the downs and the all arounds of one of the most prolific grape varieties on the planet.  We should mention that we are very  nice folks here at Table Wine and we crush cork dorks the second they walk in the door!  Leave your apprehension behind and come taste wine in a warm, friendly and unpretentious setting.

$5/person…..Free for Grape Nuts

 

The late Christian Amido admidst his old Grenache plantings in Lirac.

The late Christian Amido admidst his old Grenache plantings in Lirac.

The Wines
Prices range from $15 to $20

1. 2011 Michel Gassier Vin Blanc “Cercius”  (Rhone Valley, France)

2. 2011 Chateau de Segries Tavel  (Rhone Valley, France)

3. 2010 Joan d’Anguera Garnatxa (Montsant, Spain)

4. 2010 Domaine Lafage Cuvée Nicolas Vieilles Vignes (Roussillon, France)

5. 2008 Sella E Mosca Cannonau Reserva (Sardinia, Italy)

Wine of the Week – 2010 Eric Texier Cotes du Rhone

Eric Texier is a Bordeaux native who came to wine later in life. He spent many hours reading about vineyards and winemaking, visited top winemakers around the world, and slowly refined his craft.  He doesn’t own any of his own vineyards, but he works with small growers up and down the Rhone Valley, sourcing grapes of impeccable quality and producing wines that make the drinker very, very happy. 

He is without a doubt one of my favorite producers in the Rhone, and he’s hit a home run with his 2010 Cotes du Rhone.  This was a very fine vintage throughout the south of France, and according to wine reviewer extraordinaire Stephen Tanzer, he crafted one of the finest “basic” Cote du Rhones of the vintage.

According to Stephen, this is 100% Grenache, all fermented in tank to preserve the natural freshness and complexity of flavor of the grape.  As with most of Texier’s wines, this is a wine that combines intensity with energy and freshness.  Ripe cherry and black raspberry meet spicecake, floral, pepper and anise aromas and flavors.  It is the perfect, all purpose, grilling wine that would work well with chicken or pork or a heavily peppered steak.  Yum!

Regular Price: $16.99/bottle 

On sale through June 19 at $14.99/bottle 

The only rule is that you must mention that you saw this in the newsletter to get the sale price.

545 Wine Tasting – Try 5 Wines For $5

We are big fans of Grenache in all of its permutations.  From the big, juicy fruited wines from Spain to the more peppery and herbaceous ones from the south of France, we are suckers for this prolific varietal.  Grenache vines can get very old, sometimes over 100 years (see the picture) and yield wines with an amazing variety and complexity of flavors.  It’s amazing that the same grape can yield such different flavors depending upon where it grows.

Join us this Friday, June 15 from 4 to 7 p.m. to delve deeply into the world of Grenache.  If you are a Grape Nut, the tasting is free.

1. 2011 Eric Texier Cotes du Rhone Blanc – Many of you probably didn’t know that there was a white version of Grenache, but there is.  This wine is composed of roughly 80% of that varietal with smaller amounts of Clairette and Roussanne, and it comes from one of our favorite producers in the southern Rhone.  It sees zero oak aging and pops with fresh citrus fruits and honeysuckle on the nose and palate.

2. 2011 Bodegas Borsao Grenache Rosé – Year in and year out, Bodegas Borsao makes some of the best wine values on the planet, and this is definitely one of them.  This is their dry Rosé interpretation of Grenache and is a lively, fresh wine with notes of juicy cherry, strawberry and citrus fruits.  Simple, but delicious and refreshing, this one loves fresh seafood, grilled chicken and summer vegetables.

3. 2006 Montecastillo Priorat Crianza – The Priorat region is located along Spain’s northeastern coast, south of Barcelona, and Garnacha (as the Spanish call it) loves the rocky, slatey soils of the region.  This wine also blends in some Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon and sees some aging in American oak.  The resulting wine is smooth and nicely balanced, with black cherry and plum fruit along with notions of vanilla and spice.

4. 2010 Eric Texier Cotes du Rhone Rouge – Vintage 2010 proved to be a very successful one in the southern Rhone marked by warm, sunny conditions and a seamless growing season.  Grenache thrives under these conditions, and Eric Texier decided to go 100% varietal with his wine in this vintage.  Thank you Eric!  This is what southern French wine is all about – loads of wild berry fruit, pepper and herbes de Provence.  My mouth is watering just thinking about this wine with some grilled lamb.

5. 2010 Domaine de Bila-Haut Cotes du Roussillon – We’ll finish with another 2010 from southern France, and this one received a 94 point score from The Wine Advocate.  Skillfully crafted by the Chapoutier family, this one blends about 60% Grenache with equal parts Syrah and Carignan.  It is a full bodied, structured, slightly funky effort with ripe blueberry and blackberry fruit, along with hints of licorice, olive and peppery spice.

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