Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Cotes Du Rhone Casual Enough for Any Occasion ; BOTTLE BY BOTTLE

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Cotes Du Rhone Casual Enough for Any Occasion ; BOTTLE BY BOTTLE

Article excerpt

There are wines you drink with a carefully prepared red meat meal. And then there are wines you just pop open to pair with pizza. Thankfully, red Cotes du Rhone (meaning slopes of the Rhone, in France) works with both. Case in point: The 2006 J. Vidal- Fleury Cotes du Rhone from Varsity Liquors, which for about $15 brings you full-on red fruit flavor and tannins - perfect for a sausage and pepperoni pizza that took you 20 minutes to bake, or for a beef roast thick with juice and fat that's spent a full day in your mom's Crock-Pot. It wasn't listed on the label, but another blogger at http://jasonswineblog.com wrote importer W. J. Deutsch and Sons to find out that the blend is 50 percent Grenache, 30 percent Syrah, 10 percent Mourvedre and 10 percent other.

J. Vidal-Fleury is a negociant, which means it gathers the produce of smaller growers and winemakers and sells the wine under its own name.

According to the International Wine Review blog, J. Vidal-Fleury is "the Rhne Valley's oldest continuously operating winery, grower and negociant," having been founded in Ampuis by Joseph Vidal- Fleury. That website went on to say that the winery hosted Thomas Jefferson in 1787 when he learned about wines and winemaking and, therefore, was the winery's first contact with the burgeoning United States. The company was purchased by E. Guigal in the mid- 1980s but is operated as a separate business.

Then there's the 2007 Paul Jaboulet Aine Parallel 45 Cotes du Rhone at Winetree. For less than $10, this Frenchman offers you red fruits and black pepper and a mouth full of tannins, so it'd be perfect with a fatty meal - like cheesy pizza or a heavy beef entree.

The Parallel 45 is 60 percent Grenache and 40 percent Syrah, made by a company that's existed for more than 175 years in the Rhone Valley of France. Antoine Jaboulet started working the land in 1834 before his sons, Paul and Henri, followed him into the business. Maison Paul Jaboulet Aine was purchased by the Frey family (which also owns Chateau La Lagune in Bordeaux) in 2006, according to the Paul Jaboulet Aine website and importer Frederick Wildman and Sons Ltd.

So why the focus on Cotes du Rhone? …

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