Wine review: Delas 2009 Côtes du Rhône Saint Esprit

It seems even the traditionalist French are caving to new consumer tastes — producing fruity wines like their “New World” competitors that they formerly derided (what’s this all about?) Perhaps the musty, dusty, fruity-free style has simply been overtaken by the up-and-coming wine buyer tastes.

Or so I thought when, after blind tasting this French Côtes du Rhône, an entirely different type of wine emerged from its brown paper bag. My tasting notes reflected new world red fruits, higher-than-average alcohol and very little oak flavor. To further ram my point home, I thought the Delas 2009 Côtes du Rhône was an Australian Shiraz. Right grape, wrong continent.

Which isn’t to say this wine wasn’t tasty, just not particularly representative of its origin. Dripping with red fruits like raspberry, red cherry and strawberry, the sips also revealed thyme, mint, white pepper and a smidge of fragrant earthiness. Very dry in flavor, it wasn’t sweet, only loaded with juicy fruit, balanced acidity and a long, earthy finish. For $10, an incredibly good wine.

Sweetness: 2 out of 10
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Price: $10 – $14
Occasion: Blind tasted at a wine party
Availability: Some high-end large wine retailers and possibly independent wine shops. Or buy online at Wine.com.
Food pairing: Roasted pork with a red fruit sauce, grilled portobello mushrooms, or this recipe for thyme-scented cassoulet

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