Monday, November 15, 2010

A cheap Chateauneuf substitute

Given the current 20% discount on the Rhone at Majestic I tasted my way through half a dozen reds at the weekend and came up with 3 to recommend (not a bad hit rate). One you'll have to wait until my Guardian column of December 4th to discover (sorry!), another is brilliant but, even at the discounted price, beyond the price limit I've set myself for this blog* and the third would make a very decent substitute for a Chateauneuf on the Christmas table for short-sighted relatives who don't look at the label too closely.

It's a big generous (14%) Côteaux du Tricastin 2009 from Delas, normally £8.49 but with the 20% discount down to £6.79 if you buy two which is a steal. A tad tarry on the finish maybe but at that price who's complaining?  You could drink it with the turkey - or a leg of pork and no-one would know you hadn't spent £12 on it. Which in my book is a result. (There does still seem to be some 2007 around which I can't vouch for so make sure you get the 2009.) Rating: ****

Wines I wasn't so impressed by FYI were the Durieu Côtes du Rhone and Jaboulet 'Les Jalets' Crozes.

*OK. You want to know anyway? It's the Yann Chave Crozes-Hermitages 2008 normally £17.49, currently £13.99. Lashings of pepper and gorgeous supple fruit. Everything a Northern Rhone Syrah-lover could wish for.  

PS No more bargains till next week. I'm off to the Lebanon tomorrow.                         

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