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Cotes-du-Rhone


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BTW, we didnt have wine, but I think an establishment serving that quality of food should definitely have vintages on its wine list. Just my $.02.

Judging from the wine list on their website, the prices are not outragous. Nothing spectacular however, just a fairly ordinary list of French wines.

However, I agree, if you are going to have a wine list, list the vintage dates. There is no excuse for not doing so. (I'm making an assumption from the comment above that no vintage dates is not just the website list but also the wine list at the restaurant.) And there are some weird listings (for example, a Cotes du Rhone, Gigondas. Which is it a Cotes du Rhone or a Gigondas?)

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Gigondas is a sub-appellation of Cotes-du-Rhone.

OK, I stand corrected. Picky maybe, but as it says in the link that Mark posted:

Gigondas is in the region of the Rhône Valley Côtes de Rhône wines, as well as having its own outstanding appellation, Gigondas. (my emphasis) I don't normally see a wine referred to as a Cotes du Rhone, Gigondas. But then I'm not an expert on French wines. I just know that I do have Cotes du Rhones, and I have some Gigondas.

However, I stand by my contention that it is unforgivable that there are no vintage dates on the list. I would expect that from someplace like Outback, but not from a restaurant that is "serious" about wine.

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OK, I stand corrected. Picky maybe, but as it says in the link that Mark posted:

Gigondas is in the region of the Rhône Valley Côtes de Rhône wines, as well as having its own outstanding appellation, Gigondas. (my emphasis) I don't normally see a wine referred to as a Cotes du Rhone, Gigondas. But then I'm not an expert on French wines. I just know that I do have Cotes du Rhones, and I have some Gigondas.

However, I stand by my contention that it is unforgivable that there are no vintage dates on the list. I would expect that from someplace like Outback, but not from a restaurant that is "serious" about wine.

Rather than refer to Gigondas as a Cotes-du-Rhone, I would call it a Southern Rhone. Cotes-du-Rhone extends all the way from Vienne to Avignon. That's north to south. Southern Rhones favor grenache, Norther Rhones lean toward syrah.

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Rather than refer to Gigondas as a Cotes-du-Rhone, I would call it a Southern Rhone. Cotes-du-Rhone extends all the way from Vienne to Avignon. That's north to south. Southern Rhones favor grenache, Norther Rhones lean toward syrah.

Mark,

In any case, I bet any Rhone (Southern or Northern) on your wine list will have the vintage date.

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OK, I stand corrected. Picky maybe, but as it says in the link that Mark posted:

Gigondas is in the region of the Rhône Valley Côtes de Rhône wines, as well as having its own outstanding appellation, Gigondas. (my emphasis) I don't normally see a wine referred to as a Cotes du Rhone, Gigondas. But then I'm not an expert on French wines. I just know that I do have Cotes du Rhones, and I have some Gigondas.

However, I stand by my contention that it is unforgivable that there are no vintage dates on the list. I would expect that from someplace like Outback, but not from a restaurant that is "serious" about wine.

The Rhone has a confusing appellation hierarchy. At the bottom is Cotes-du-Rhone. Then Cotes-du-Rhone-Village, then seven towns that can put their names over Cotes-du-Rhone-Villages (eg., Rasteau, Sablet, Muscat-de-Beaumes-de-Venise, etc.) Next up are towns that have their own appellation, such as Chateauneuf-du-Papes, Vacqueyras, Cornas, Hermitage, and Gigondas. Cote-Rotie, while not a town, would fall in this category. These may say "Red Rhone Wine" but won't say "Cotes-du-Rhone".

All these appellations will have their own character differences. Mark's north-south distinction is the most important, though, as southerners are blenders and northerners keep to the Syrah.

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Mark's north-south distinction is the most important, though, as southerners are blenders and northerners keep to the Syrah.

Interesting question, Dave. I'm not sure that "blenders" is the right word because many of the multiple grape varieties used in the south are co-mingled in the vineyard and co-fermented. Very different from the precision blends of Bordeaux, don't you think?

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Interesting question, Dave. I'm not sure that "blenders" is the right word because many of the multiple grape varieties used in the south are co-mingled in the vineyard and co-fermented. Very different from the precision blends of Bordeaux, don't you think?

Mark, I did not realize that this was the case. It would seem to make it difficult to have control over the final product.

And of course, the north/south distinction is a generalization, since I have tasted some very good CNdPs that were 100% Grenache (but then again, I can't think of a Cote Rote that isn't all Syrah)

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It used to be the case that DOC Cote-Rotie used to require co-fermentation of Syrah and Viognier. When the prescription was lifted, many top growers ripped out their Viognier.

Many new world growers co-ferment syrah and viognier to set a deeper color (due to particular enzymes present in viognier). I've yet to taste one that doesn't just taste like viognier, however.

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Mark, I did not realize that this was the case. It would seem to make it difficult to have control over the final product.

And of course, the north/south distinction is a generalization, since I have tasted some very good CNdPs that were 100% Grenache (but then again, I can't think of a Cote Rote that isn't all Syrah)

Dave,

I remember having lunch with Jean-Louis Chave not too long ago and asking him the cepage of the Hermitage White. He said it was impossible to know the exact percentages of Rousanne-Marsanne because the vines were so old and they were mixed together. Re-planting is the only way to be absolutely certain about the vineyard make-up. I think most Cote-Rotie today from better producers still includes small percentages of viognier - 3-8%. The original AOC regulation allowing the 13 grape varieties in the South in Chateuaneuf-du-Pape was to accomodate the co-mingling of the vines in the field blend, is my understanding.

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Dave,

I remember having lunch with Jean-Louis Chave not too long ago and asking him the cepage of the Hermitage White. He said it was impossible to know the exact percentages of Rousanne-Marsanne because the vines were so old and they were mixed together. Re-planting is the only way to be absolutely certain about the vineyard make-up. I think most Cote-Rotie today from better producers still includes small percentages of viognier - 3-8%. The original AOC regulation allowing the 13 grape varieties in the South in Chateuaneuf-du-Pape was to accomodate the co-mingling of the vines in the field blend, is my understanding.

I believe you're right - and thanks for busting my chops over my careless use of the word "blend"! :blink: Considering I've just quit a paying publication because of errors they insisted on inserting into my articles, I should be more careful even in quick posts.

I love the so-called "field blends" - my favorite old zins are some of those cuvees where they don't really know what else is in there, or how much. And it makes for greater variety, which is always a good thing.

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You know, this whole Gigondas conversation started with an aside to my main point that any decent wine list should indeed include the vintage dates. I still agree with Andelman that a restaurant that is as much "into" wine as Parc should include the vintage dates on the wine list, including the list that they put up on their website.

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You know, this whole Gigondas conversation started with an aside to my main point that any decent wine list should indeed include the vintage dates. I still agree with Andelman that a restaurant that is as much "into" wine as Parc should include the vintage dates on the wine list, including the list that they put up on their website.

I agree with you. It's kind of fun to see where these threads meander, isn't it?

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You know, this whole Gigondas conversation started with an aside to my main point that any decent wine list should indeed include the vintage dates. I still agree with Andelman that a restaurant that is as much "into" wine as Parc should include the vintage dates on the wine list, including the list that they put up on their website.

I agree. To my mind, the failure to list vintages is a sign of laziness on the part of the restaurant. It always means that I want to see a particular bottle and what the vintage is before I order it to be opened. There's quite a difference in my mind between paying, say, $35 for a 2003 Southern Rhône red and a 2002. I suppose it all comes down to economies of scale.

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