Check out the new, mobile-friendly!

Two Côtes du Rhône Whites

M. Chapoutier Belleruche 2007 and E. Guigal 2006
Thomas Matthews
Posted: August 11, 2009

The last meal of our vacation at Edisto Beach, S.C., starred shrimp, of course. Shrimp boats dock daily on the island; it’s one of the few places where the catch is sold fresh, not frozen. And jumbos sell for $11 per pound. So we simply boiled up a few pounds with salt, pepper and lemon, and piled them on the table to peel and eat.

Since we were leaving the next day, we were in “finish it up” mode, and that included wine: We drank what we had left, two bottles of white Côtes du Rhône, bought in Charleston at $15 each. They made an interesting comparison, between producers and vintages.

The 2007 Chapoutier Côtes du Rhône White Belleruche was both richer and fresher. Lush and almost oily in texture, it showed floral, anise and melon flavors. Expressive, if a bit disjointed and soft, it showed distinctive character.

The 2006 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône White was more traditional in style, with a lighter body and more acidity carrying pear, lemon and almond flavors. It had less character, but more harmony. I rated both wines 85 points, non-blind.

Neither wine was a perfect match with the shrimp, to be honest. They were just too heavy. But after two weeks at the beach, with perfect weather, delicious food and excellent company, no one was complaining. Except that we had to leave. members: Read the original blind-tasting reviews for M. Chapoutier Côtes du Rhône White Belleruche 2007 (85, $13) and E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône White 2006 (86, $14).

• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Côtes du Rhône whites, along with our quick list of Top Values among Rhône whites.

Would you like to comment?

Want to join or start a discussion? Become a member and you can!

To protect the quality of our conversations, only members may submit comments. To learn more about member benefits, take our site tour.


= members only

Keep me logged in      Forgot Password?

Job Opportunities

Passionate about wine? Wine Spectator magazine is looking for an enthusiastic copy editor in the New York office.

Email Newsletters

Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered

» View samples
» Or sign up now!
» Manage my newsletter preferences


The marketplace for all your wine needs, including:

Wine Storage | Wine Clubs
Dining & Travel | Wine Auctions
Wine Shops | Wine Accessories