CHÂTEAU LA NERTHE Côtes-du-Rhône Villages “Les Cassagnes” 2017

(Rhône Valley, France) $20

This is what my friend Ray Isle (Wine Editor of Food & Wine magazine) calls a “pajamas by the fire” wine—a wine so soul satisfying and delicious you won’t want to stop drinking it. It’s also an exquisite example of a great grenache’s irresistible aromas and flavors: wave after wave of cherry liqueur, cherry preserves, red licorice, violets, minerals and exotic spices. La Nerthe is a top producer in the southern Rhône Valley of France and is most famous for their Châteauneuf-du-Papes which cost considerably more. This is the estate’s Côtes-du-Rhône Villages, a theoretically humble wine which doesn’t taste one bit humble, and is a steal to boot. In addition to grenache, it includes some syrah and mourvèdre, and the vines are 40 years old. The wine is named after the green oak trees that surround the vineyard—cassagne means “oak tree” in the local southern Rhône dialect. (14.5% abv)

92 points KM

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