Posts Tagged ‘Les Courtilles Côtes du Rhone 2010’

Spitting: Optional

Les Courtilles Côtes du Rhone 2010

Vintage: 2010

Style: Medium bodied red

Country: France 

Region: Rhone Valley 


Drinking a wine like this reminds us that oak is not the be all and end all. Sometimes simple, upfront fruit can be more appealing than dense oak characters. Aging in oak would tone down those pretty, perfumed, luscious characters that many of the Côte du Rhone wines display.

As I have said before some varieties just need a little extra to express their potential. Grenache is quite pretty and shows delectate red fruit flavours but can be a touch light. Shiraz has pepper and dark fruits but can be overpowering. Mourvedre sits between these two but has great structure. With their powers combined they summon forth Captain Côte du Rhone or Captain GSM, the younger, Australasian cousin of Captain CDR (Côtes du Rhone). Somehow it doesn’t have the same ring to it when I sing the Captain Planet theme song.

Fruit is king in this wine, it uses oak as its royal footstool. Using the barrel to stand taller but never steal the show. Just recently in Australia we have accepted that 10 years ago we were over oaking our Chardonnay and now it is considered a wine fault. This is because the fruit disappears into a mire of cedar, woodchips and pencil shavings and stops being Chardonnay. All varietal character was lost. This will never happen when drinking wines from Cote du Rhone, especially those as reasonably priced as this one.

Tasting note: Musk, strawberry and white pepper rises from the glass to fill the nose. The palate is soft and elegant with red fruit characters such as strawberry and raspberry. A subtle spice and pepper rounds out this wine. Don’t bother cellaring this wine, it’s too enjoyable now.

Final Say: Sing the Captain Côtes du Rhone song all the way to the bottle shop to buy this one. Enjoy with lighter red meat dishes. Sells for around $16.

Score: 16.5 out of 20

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Jack Davis