Try This Fresh, Vibrant Côtes Du Rhône

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The scuttlebutt in the southern Rhône region of France has been 2016. This wonderful vintage of richness combined with freshness has tickled the fancy of value-oriented consumers. But 2015 and 2017 have also contributed to a “no miss” situation. However, the 2015’s are backward and require patience. The 2017 vintage seems an amalgam of the two; less rich, but so fresh and inviting now. Look no further than today’s offering, the Les Dauphins Côtes du Rhône Villages. The grenache grape dominates this certified organic southern Rhône blend. Decant and enjoy.

2017 Côtes Du Rhône Villages, Les Dauphins $15.99 suggested retail price

Translucent garnet in color. An herbal basketful of grapes greet your sinuses. Graceful freshness, green accents, with smoke, clay and sous bois surrounding the raspberry/blackcurrant fruit. A supple, medium-bodied mouthfeel, with currant and plum flavors, persists on the chalky, spicy middle and finish. Certified by FR Bio-01 organic grapes. (60% grenache, 30% syrah, 5% mourvedre and 5% carignan) An integrated bouquet and smoother palate occur if you decant for one hour. (Drink now-2021) Good with poultry, tuna tartare or a lentil/wild rice dish.

89/100 points

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Arturo Ciompi

Trained as a classical clarinetist and conductor, Arturo plied his trade for many years in New York, performing with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, the American Symphony and countless chamber music groups. While living in Durham, Arturo became the wine manager at two iconic gourmet stores: Fowler’s in Durham and Southern Season in Chapel Hill. He had a wine spot on NPR in the ’90s and has been a continuously published wine journalist since 1997. He has won national awards for his work and is currently writing for Durham Magazine and its weekly blog, “Wine Wednesdays”. In addition, he loves teaching the clarinet. Read more on his website.

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