Feeling Satisfied with Côtes du Rhône

I am often asked about my “favorite” wine. This is an impossible question, and one that I simply can’t answer. The fact is, I taste so many delicious wines that choosing a favorite seems silly, particularly when things change from vintage to vintage.

But I do have a category recommendation that I give everyone, because it is ONE of my favorites, and that is Côtes du Rhône. Readers of L’Occasion know that I have a soft spot for these wines — I’ve covered them extensively here and in the wine media. In fact, just last year I published Côtes du Rhône: Essential French Wines. This piece is structured to help readers understand the different appellations of the region. Check that out for a refresher (and some excellent photos of my trips to southern France, if I do say so myself).

Another piece, Exploring Rhône Valley Wines from North to South, teases out the differences between segments of the valley that the Côtes du Rhône calls home. I’m linking that up through my page at Perfectly Provence, because there is related additional reading material here. This brings me to an interesting point about the Côtes du Rhône growing region, which is culturally Provence, though this sometimes confuses people because it’s unrelated to Côtes de Provence and Provence wine appellations.

As I consider my media samples for this special Winophiles event, made possible by Côtes du Rhône, I was reminded why I am so committed to these wines. This is related to satisfaction level. The variety can’t be beat, with a range of approved grapes growing in a bevy of terroirs, and there is truly something for everyone.

As mentioned above, there is a scale of quality levels, so locking down a price at any budget is doable. These wines are also available in most markets, making them accessible to consumers. And for the most part I’ve noticed that when people drink a Côtes du Rhône wine for the first time, they are impressed. Many of the finest producers craft both Cru and named villages releases as well as a regional Côtes du Rhône, granting us access to their skills and traditions at many levels up and down the pyramid.

Wines to Try

For this post I’m sampling a really compelling set of wines, which I’ll share with you here for your own exploration.

Alain Jaume Bellissime Rosé 2020 Côtes du Rhône AOC

Chateau Beauchène Blanc 2019 Côtes du Rhône AOC

Domaine Gramenon La Sagesse Rouge 2019 Côtes du Rhône AOC

Louis Bernard Rouge 2018 Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC

Domaines Les Grands Bois Cuvée Philippine 2018 Côtes du Rhône Villages Sainte Cécile AOC

Lavau La Décelle 2018 Côtes du Rhône-Villages Valréas AOC

Hélène JAUME of Alaine Jaume and Guillaume PERRAUD of Domaine Coudoulis. Photo Credit: Jill Barth

Additional Reading About the Côtes du Rhône Environment

Marc Perrin, Rhône Winemaker, Talks About ‘Going Further’ With Sustainability

Luxe Provence Southern Rhône Wine Guide

An Autumn Escape to France’s Hilltop Wine Towns

Holiday Wines from Southern Rhône and Provence

Welcome Spring with Fresh Food and Le Ferme du Mont Côtes du Rhône

Lirac: Five Star French Wine and Travel

The French Winophiles

Join the French Winophiles group to go in all directions with Côtes du Rhône wines. We can on the first Saturday of the month at 10am central time — September 18, 2021. Find us with the hashtag #winophiles to say hello and contribute to the conversation.

Here are the articles each member of the group has planned. There are sure to be interesting social media posts to go along with these, so search up the hashtag on Instagram and Facebook too. We hope to see you there.

4 thoughts on “Feeling Satisfied with Côtes du Rhône

  1. Dear Jill, Thank you for the mention and the link to Perfectly Provence. I thought of you earlier this week while we explored the vineyards of Tain l’Hermitage, St Joseph and Condras. What a treat to discover and taste those wines.

    Cheers to Wineophiles!

    Like

  2. I am so with you on the favorite wine question Jill! Also loved how you touched on the fact that part of this wine region is actually in the Provence region – I had read references to Provence from some of the producer’s websites, but didn’t quite understand how that worked.

    Like

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