Many wine lovers probably share the dilemma that I often face: I’m out to dinner with a group of friends who want “a red wine,” while I want a well-structured red, with a nice array of flavors and good texture, from an interesting area and/or producer. Most of my friends are relative wine novices, and given the exorbitant cost of living in New York City, their “red wine” is often selected largely based on price. While I’m happy to spend less, I’m additionally searching for a wine that can offer some excitement, along with the modest pricetag.
I recently found a great compromise in Eric Texier’s Côtes du Rhône 2007. Côtes du Rhône is a great wine to look for if you’re a fan of Grenache and Syrah (the typical blend). These wines offer some of the characteristics of wines from the neighboring Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation, at a fraction of the cost. And given the string of great vintages in the Rhône Valley this past decade, most Côtes du Rhônes are a good bet.
The Texier showed a silky texture, with flavors of raspberry coulis, black cherry and spice. It had enough structure to recommend it with food, but not so much that you couldn’t sip it on its own. I rated it 88 points, non-blind, and at $32 a bottle on the restaurant’s wine list, it was a slam dunk!
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Eric Texier Côtes du Rhône 2007 (87 points, $18).
• Plus, get our quick list of Top Values among Rhône reds, for $25 or less.