Cotes du Rhone AOP, France; 13.5% ABV
Imported by AW Direct; a Wine Trees Selection
“Roi de la Colline” = “King of the Hill”
$5 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 5 Sept
When I opened this wine, I thought it was very light-flavored and delicate, having subtle, dusty complexity, but not much fruit or intensity. I waited for it to open, but it seemed to go quickly from being un-aired to being over-aired, becoming too simple and acid.
Fortunately, I saved half the wine in a 375ml bottle with a stopper and little air. This second half was much more integrated and interesting, with recognizable flavors (or at least so I imagined) of Syrah and Grenache: red cherry, raspberry, a little black cherry / plum, a slight herbal component, and a decent amount of light, dusty earth. (There are likely other grapes in this blend.) As this half-bottle aired over a couple hours, the flavors darkened to where the black cherry and plum dominated, with the dustiness reduced. It was still a little less intense flavor-wise, but it had nice complexity and, with a gentle but definitely tannic finish, potential to improve with age. It’s hardly the most amazing CdR, but it’s quite good for the money, and would probably be better the second day or after a year or three of cool storage.
Another thought: I got this wine very soon after it had arrived. I suppose it’s possible some of its reservedness could be from “bottle shock” of having recently traveled.