M. Chapoutier Belleruche Côtes-du-Rhône 2014

M. Chapoutier Belleruche Côtes-du-Rhône 2014: Rich ruby color; red fruits, licorice nose; rich plum, blackberry, black cherry;

rich, round, medium body, nice structure and silky tannin, no oak, drip of vanilla; delicious value, the adjective “quaffable” leaps to mind; 60% grenache, 40% syrah. The Chapoutier estate has produced wine in the Rhône since 1808; this effort combines two of the dominate grape varieties—grenache, king of the southern Rhône, and syrah, king of the northern Rhône. Côtes is French for “sides”, so the general name refers to wines grown along the sides of the Rhône River, one of the greats waterflows of Europe. The Rhône begins with the Rhône Glacier in the Swiss Alps, flows in Lake Geneva, then into France, past Lyon (largest city on its course), joined by its biggest tributary, the Saône, becoming a mighty, continent draining watercourse until it flows into the Mediterranean in fingering branches of the Camargue delta, also known as the Rhône Fan. Although not located in the fan, Marseille (the second-largest city in France and third-largest metropolitan area—behind Lyon; Paris is the largest in both categories) is just east of the Rhône’s arrival to the sea. This Rhône wine effort is delicious; it is France. $12-15
M. Chapoutier Belleruche Côtes-du-Rhône