About Cotes du Rhone
Cotes du Rhone covers the vast region of the entire Rhone Valley, although the majority of the wine comes from the south, and is Grenache dominant; there are some great value Cotes du Rhone, with soft, juicy, peppery fruit, some atrocious ones, thin, fruitless and dank.
What is Cotes du Rhone Villages?
Cotes du Rhone Villages is an appellation given to 16 villages in the Southern Rhone and denotes a higher quality of wine; the best known include Rasteau, Cairanne, Sablet and Beaumes de Venise. The grapes must come from the specific village if the village name is to appear on the wine, and must be from minimum 50% Grenache, with minimum 20% Syrah and Mourvedre. These wines offer some of the best value in the region and often come from villages which are working hard on a quality focus.
Style of Cotes du Rhone & Food Matching
Classic Red Cotes du Rhone
Style: Range from light, juicy, raspberry and blackberry fruit styles, to violet perfumed, richer, spicier styles, bursting with bright forest fruits and a sprinkling of pepper. Generally great value, and very approachable.
Grapes: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, cinsault and a few others
Good with: charcuterie, sausages, ratatouille, shepherds pie, and pasta dishes; also great with a platter of decent cheese.
Cotes du Rhone Rose
Cotes du Rhone Rose wines are made from the same grape varieties as the reds, although up to 20% white wines are allowed in the blends.
Style: fresh, raspberry-scented wines, with more body than many French Rose wines; dry, fruity and refreshing, with a kick of spice.
Grapes: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, plus up to 20% of any of the permitted white grape varieties, Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne, Bourboulenc.
Good with: seared tuna, chargrilled prawns and pan fried chicken; also great with pork loin, or belly, and braised lamb cutlets. Will also cope very well with lightly spiced dishes, and all manner of salads and vegetable dishes.
White Cotes du Rhone Wines
Cotes du Rhone white wines are generally fresh, and fruity, with a blend of the main white grape varieties of the Rhone, but play a small part in the overall picture.
Style: these versatile, fruity dry whites have a bit of punch, and a ripe, nectarine and peach style fruit.
Grapes: Grenache blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, Clairette, Viognier and Bourboulenc.
Goes with: Great with monkfish and other meaty fish dishes, herby chicken, and vegetable stews and salads; lovely with soft cheeses.