6 Bottles That Celebrate France's Côtes Du Rhône | Wine Enthusiast
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6 Bottles That Celebrate France’s Côtes Du Rhône

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Bold in fruit and spiced with Mediterranean garrigue, the sun-drenched wines of the Côtes du Rhône are the crowd-pleasing little black dress of the wine world.

While most associated with the big, juicy reds of the Southern Rhône, the Côtes du Rhône is an umbrella Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC), incorporating diverse geography and wine styles. Spanning more than 74,000 acres from Vienne in the Northern Rhône and past Avignon in the Southern Rhône, it is one of the largest appellations in France.

Côtes du Rhône is most known for red wine, which makes up almost 90% of the region’s production, but rosé and white wines are also produced there.

Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre are the most common grapes, but regulations allow the blending of up to 23 red and white varieties. In the South, reds are typically Grenache-based blends augmented with Syrah and Mourvèdre. North of Montélimar, regulations permit Syrah-based and even varietal Syrah bottlings.

Wines labeled simply Côtes du Rhône represent the baseline. Moving up the hierarchy, Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC highlights the distinction of terroir and stringent growing practices of 95 villages throughout the Southern Rhône. Within the Côtes du Rhône Villages, 22 elite subregions are authorized to add their village name (like Valréas) or combined village names (like Plan de Dieu) to their labels.

Six Côtes Du Rhône Bottles to Buy Now

Brotte Esprit Barville (Côtes du Rhône); $15

Barville wine bottle

Château de Saint Cosme Côtes du Rhône; $20

Saint Cosme wine bottle

Château du Trignon Côtes du Rhône Villages Plan de Dieu; $22

Chateau du Trignon wine bottle

Château Maucoil Côtes du Rhône Villages; $17

Rhone Chateau Maucoil bottle

Domaine du Joncier Marine Roussel I’O (Côtes du Rhône); $20

L'O de Joncier Wine bottle

Domaine Saint Siffrein Au Bord du Chemin (Côtes du Rhône); $24

Rhone Saint Siffren Bottle

This article originally appeared in the February/March 2022 issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine. Click here to subscribe today!