Juicy, Refreshing, Springtime Côtes-du-Rhône. $16

Greetings from the continent! We landed in Paris this morning and caught the TGV south to Avignon. We’re here for the next few weeks, tasting in the Southern Rhône, Northern Rhône, and Burgundy — follow our tasting trip video blog (starting tomorrow) on Facebook, Instagram, and our blog.

Spring is in full swing here in the South, where it’s 70 degrees and sunny. Meals en plein air are the norm here, and it’s true that everything tastes better under a clear blue Provençal sky . It may not quite be patio season everywhere on the East Coast yet, but it won’t be long now.

So today we’re suggesting a simple, quaffable, by-the-glass Côtes du Rhône. Whenever springtime arrives to your hometown, you’ll want a bottle or two of this around to welcome it.

Winemaker Christelle Coulange returned to her family property after oenology school and began to make and bottle her own wine. In only a decade she has made quite a name for herself. Her wines win medals nearly every year, and she still getting better.

Her 2017 Coulange Mistral is young, juicy, and delightful. An unoaked blend of 80% grenache and 20% syrah. It’s more substantial than the 2016, with juicier fruit and a darker palate. The nose shows violets, wild cherry jam, and garrigue, with woodsy and briary notes as it opens up. The mouth is dense and full, with a rich, vibrant mouthfeel, and smooth tannins.

Serve this a bit cool with burgers or steaks or vegetables from your grill.



Coulange Mistral 2017
bottle price: $16

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