Tuesday, February 2, 2010

2007 Les Aphillanthes 3 Cepages Cotes du Rhone

I haven't written since January 18th yet no one's taken me to task for it. Then again I don't really expect anyone to. Right now I think wine fans who read blogs are probably overwhelmed by the choices out there. I know I am, and even have trouble keeping up with the ones I truly enjoy reading. What is one to do then? I guess in a sense, the onus is on the reader to actively seek out the content that he/she wants to experience. Thank goodness for services like Google Reader, so we can quickly categorize and index our preferred blogs. In any case, the Chardonnays I mentioned before (for those of you who read this blog) are coming soon. I discussed the tasting concepts with my partner in crime (my buddy Brian) and he readily agreed. It's such a maligned varietal, we felt it would be fun to sort out the various elements that Calfornia Chardonnays have.

This isn't about that though, this is about an absolutely stellar 2007 Cotes du Rhone I had the other night.
2007 Les Aphillanthes 3 Cepages Cotes du Rhone
(img credit to link)

Most of us have read that the 2007 Rhone vintage is awesome (according to the critics like Robert Parker), worthy of naming your first-born child something trendy like Villages or Cornas. Ok that wasn't too funny, sorry..I promise it won't happen (much) again. My little disclaimer should be that I've found the 2007 Rhones to be on average, way too ripe and fruit oriented. They seem to be devoid of the very qualities I love about them. Darker, earthier and perhaps more rustic flavors have traditionally made Rhone wines appeal to my palate. Of the perhaps 25 examples of 2007 Rhones, ranging throughout the area, the vast majority just aren't my style. When I went to taste this example, I expected more of the same. Overly fruity, soft, almost flabby wine that didn't reflect (to me) the real heritage of the Rhone Valley. 
Boy was I surprised! This Les Aphillanthes showed bright flavors of black cherry, leather and cigar box, but all in proportion. I also think I found notes of blackberry, mocha and definitiely some of that wonderful barnyard that marks Rhone wines.
It was only open about 20 minutes before my buddy Justin and I consumed it, but that was enough to showcase some darker scents like dark chocolate, spices and herbs. These were accompanied by that cool barnyard/wet-earth smell and even some ripe currants, which we really didn't expect to find. In case you haven't guessed it yet, this wine was something that appealed to me, one I have in fact bought again and will recommend to my fellow wine-drinkers. For $20, you really can't beat this wonderfully modern yet traditional Rhone wine. With my supremely awesome scoring system giving it a solid A, how can you not buy it! Well that might be a bit of a stretch, please forgive the exuberance. It's really an A-rated wine, one that I intend to drink multiple times and feel represents a truly great value in wine.
That's about all I intend to write, I'm thinking I'll keep future reviews shorter and more to-the-point. That hopefully benefits you, the reader. Plus it means I have to write less! In summation, buy this wine if you see it out there. Les Aphillanthes makes a couple of other examples which are very tasty too but this one just stuck with me. Next blog will be a report about a wine tasting featuring what we call "Random Reds".

Beau Carufel


  1. I know what you mean about searching through wine blogs ... there's so many, sometimes I get overwhelmed by the choices! Dig your blog, though, mostly because it's nice to find another under 30 person who appreciates wine (and likes to blog about it) as much as I do! And where'd you find that Rhone for $20? I'd love to try it.


  2. Hey Beth thank you for commenting! I appreciate it. I found the Aphillanthes at San Diego Wine Co. but it should be available at any good wine store, they imported a bunch of it. Make sure you get the 3 Cepages because there's another Cuvee that isn't quite as good.