Sunday, January 20, 2008

J. Vidal-Fleury Côtes du Rhône

J. Vidal-Fleury
Domaine le Pigeonnier
Côtes du Rhône
Rhône, France
$13.99 -- Durham, NC

Color: Deep garnet
Nose: Violets, smoke
Body: Medium
Front: Cedary raspberries
Middle: Lavender, a little mint
Back: Leather and spice
Burns clean?: Yes
Cap: Hybrid plastic and cork

This is one of my favorite Côtes-du-Rhônes and a colossal bargain. Every vintage of it I've had has featured this floral nose and this lavender or even rose taste, along with the usual leatheriness and occasional spice of the grenache-syrah-mourvèdre blend. It has beautiful structure and goes with all kinds of food except fruit and vindaloo. One of the coolest things about it is that it has synergy with food; the tastes in the wine change depending on what you eat, but it stays distinctive and balanced. Alchemy.