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The Best Côtes du Rhône Right Now

The Best Côtes du Rhône Right Now

Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages have long been known as one of the most affordable Appellation d’Origine Contrôlées (AOCs) in the eponymous French valley. Inexpensive bottles are available in droves, but the quality has drastically improved in recent years.

“There are a lot of hidden values in the Southern Rhône,” says Wine Enthusiast Tasting Director Anna-Christina Cabrales. “Simply put: The region is starting to produce better and better wines.”

Over the past decade, as new regional appellations have been introduced and a new generation of producers have come onto the scene, this often budget-friendly area has been churning out increasingly elevated bottles that span a wide spectrum of varietals (21 are permitted in the area) and styles, from rustic and full-bodied to light and ethereal, depending on the vintage.  

To get the full scope of what the area can do, Cabrales suggests trying different producers. Many make pricier cuvees from more expensive Rhône appellations, so grabbing one of their less costly Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages is a great way to explore their various styles without breaking the bank. “If you really like the wine and how it captures your palate, then dive in,” she says. “Chances are you’re going to like their other stuff, too.”

Even so, figuring out which producers are making great wines that fit your preferred flavor profile takes a lot of time and effort. But that’s where we come in: We’ve compiled a selection of some of the most exciting Côtes du Rhônes and Côtes du Rhône Villages wines on the market right now. From single-varietal Syrahs and classic Grenache-Syrah Mourvedre (GSM) blends to killer whites, here are 12 bottles to add to your must-buy list.

E. Guigal 2020 White (Côtes du Rhône)

Fresh and delicious aromas of yellow peach, Bosc pear, dehydrated pineapple, and stone fill the glass. The palate gently delivers mirroring flavors that are accentuated by candied ginger and uplifting acidity that contributes to its long finish. This wine is a winning pair to a wide range of vegetable preparations. Best Buy. 92 Points. — A.C.

Argonaut Wine & Liquor

La Ferme du Mont 2021 Première Côte Red (Côtes du Rhône)

Fresh and candied notes of strawberries, dried cranberries, blueberries, violets and white peppercorn fill the glass. The palate is dark-fruited and focused, with persistent mouth-coating fine tannins that remain, resisting the wash of acidity. This expression shows great promise and time in the glass allows brighter notes to leap. Pair this wine with textured meaty dishes such as picadillo or beef empanadas. 92 Points. — A.C.


Domaine Gassier 2019 Red (Côtes du Rhône)

The nose of this wine reveals richness with deep dark plums, blackberries and wild thyme balanced by earthy topsoil. The wine exudes the essence of a freshly picked basket of fruit, demonstrating its purity. On the palate, herbaceous notes lead, followed by a burst of fresh cherry fruit, lightly framed by olive and green peppercorn. The tannins coat the front of the mouth as the acidity resets the palate. Best Buy. 93 Points. — A.C.

Merchant of Wine

Domaine de la Griveliére 2019 Red (Côtes du Rhône)

This reductive wine’s aromatics display fresh cherries with iodine and sanguine tones, framed by flint and stone. On the palate it exudes good intensity and an energetic core. Medium bodied with nice texture, notes of crushed cherries, blackberries, rose and peppercorn enhance its complexity and lively finish. Best Buy. 92 Points. — A.C.

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