Eric Guido

Location: Ridgewood, NY

Food and Wine Writer for Snooth Media, Chef, Musician, Poet, Wine Lover, and Workaholic. Owner, Chef and Writer for The V.I.P. Table.

My top 2010 Southern Rhone wines

There is amazing value to be found in the Southern Rhone, especially in the categories of Côtes du Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Villages and Gigondas.   What's more, 2010 has turned out to be an amazing vintage in the region.  I've been having a great time tasting through these wines.  


My top wine, Les Garrigues from Domaine de la Janasse, may not exactly be considered a "value" to some, but it's certainly is a relative value when you consider the quality of wine found in this bottle.  It's essentially a baby Chateauneuf du Pape.


The rest that follow are all amazing value wines that will thrill you with pure, focused fruit that is perfectly ripe yet never cloying.  These are great wines to introduce someone to the Southern Rhone and the styles that are possible in the region.

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 St. Cosme Cotes du Rhone (2010)
Comments: The nose seemed to sway between fruit and earth, at first showing intense red berry, then pepper, herbal notes with fresh turned soil and a hint of bacon fat. Each time I put this to my nose, I seemed to find something slightly different. On the palate it was silky smooth yet juicy with dark cherry and black pepper. The finish was dry with palate coating tannin and a hint of perceptible heat. I’m interested in seeing where this may go with a year or two in the cellar. (88 points)
Average price: $16.15 from 1 store
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2 Éric Texier Roussanne Côtes du Rhône Brézème (2010)
Comments: The nose showed blackberry with savory spices, reminding me of mustard seed and pepper followed by mineral laden black stone. On the palate, it was light-to-medium bodied with zesty acidity, black fruits, grill char, herbs and orange peel. The finish was dry with cheek puckering tannin, showing tart black fruits and pepper notes. (88 points)
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3 Lavau Gigondas France Rhone (2010)
Comments: The nose showed fresh blackberries, violet floral tones, slate dust, pepper notes and a hint of spiced cookie. On the palate, it was at first rich, yet turned elegant and juicy with pure black fruits, licorice and hints of mountain herbs. The finish was lasting with blackberry fruit and violet candies lingering long after the close. (90 points)
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4 Calendal Côtes du Rhône Villages Plan de Dieu (2010)
Comments: The nose showed black cherry and blackberry jam with lavender and rock dust. On the palate, it was medium-bodied, showing rich textures and a hint of sweetness to its rich, dark fruits and spices with an acid-driven core of minerals. A bit of alcohol was perceptible into the finish, which was slightly dry with palate-staining fruits. (90 points)
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5 Michel Gassier Cotes du Rhone Villages Visan Cercius Blanc (2010)
Comments: The nose showed ripe mixed berries, sweet spicy cookie and chalky minerals. On the palate, it was soft like velvet yet juicy and balanced it’s 14.5% alcohol very well as blackberry jam and violet candies messaged the senses. The finish was long and enjoyable with ripe berries and herbs. (90 points)
Previously available for $11.99
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6 Domaine de la Janasse Red Rhone Blend Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes (2010)
Comments: The nose showed a vibrant mix of ripe wild berries, blueberry jam, sweet spices, licorice, hints of vanilla and mountain herbs. On the palate it was rich and full bodied yet showed excellent acidity, which kept it in check and left a juicy sensation throughout. Crushed blackberry and spice saturated the senses yet a hint of heat detracted ever so slightly. The finish was long and juicy, showing pure ripe blackberry fruit. (92 points)
Average price: $218.25 from 1 store
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7 Domaine du Grapillon d'Or Gigondas (2010)
Comments: The nose showed spicy blackberry fruit with lavender, black pepper, dried meats and crushed rocks. On the palate, it was like velvet over a stone-structure yet juicy throughout with black fruits, spice and hints of black licorice. Berries, pepper and olive tapenade lingered on the medium-long finish with a tinge of heat. (92 points)
Previously available for $35.00
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8 Cotes du Rhone Villages les Garrigues Janasse (2010)
Comments: The nose was plush with ripe blackberry fruits, violet candies, herbs and sweet spices. On the palate, it was velvety with intense concentration, yet balanced with acidity that kept it fresh and juicy. Sweet blackberry, cola and violets from the bouquet filled the senses. The finish was remarkably long with lasting dark fruits that seemed to change from ripe to tart as they melted from the palate. (93 points)
Previously available for $45.00
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