I tend to fall in love with certain wines every few months, but I think this one will last.

I have gone through a Cotes du Rhone period before but never found as many great, great wines as I have recently. The beautiful thing about these grenache-based wines is even with one dominant grape they can still be very different.

Wednesday night I shared a bottle of Alain Jaume 2007 Rasteau Cotes du Rhone Villages. We had it with some crackers and a couple of different cheeses. It was just awesome red wine for good conversation, good cheese, and easy drinking.

The wine is mostly Grenache with a little bit of Syrah and Mourvedre. It had a deep red color and was very fresh on the palate. The young friend I was sharing it with has a developing palate and we both got a bit of a candy like sensation on the back of the palate. I thought it was a little like a cough drop and he looked at me like I was silly – and suggested, ‘yea, candy maybe!’

Do you dare disagree when the other guy is buying the wine?

It’s aged in stainless steel so it has that uber-smooth texture that is great to sip with a log on the fire!

The point is it has big fruit and incredible balance. I liked this wine a lot. It comes from a prestigious producer in the southern Rhone area. This is a classic $14.95 wine that could easily fool you to think it was more like $25.

Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com

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