Southern France is one of my favorite travel destinations, and while I can't get there often, I can enjoy a glass of wine from one of the many wine appellations throughout the region, such as Provence, Cotes du Roussillon, Vacqueyras, and Chateauneuf du Pape, to name just a few. One of the regions whose wines I find offer great value is the Cotes du Rhone Villages, a French wine Appellation d'Origine Controlee (AOC) in southern France. It is made up from a list of villages around the region whose wines meet the quality criteria for this appellation. The wines are superior to the generic Cotes du Rhone AOC but below that of famous regions like Chateauneuf du Pape. The Mas de Boislauzon winery is located just north of Avignon and is currently owned by 5th generation vignerons Chrissy and Daniel Chaussy, where they organically farm 37 acres of vineyards in the Cotes du Rhone Villages AOC, and 22 acres in Chateauneuf du Pape. I tasted their 2015 Cotes du Rhone Villages recently, and rediscovered many of the reasons I love wines from this region. It is made up of 70% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, and 10% Syrah and spends 12 months in oak barrels. It displays aromas and flavors of rich black fruits, spicy black pepper, licorice, dried herbs and subtle earthy notes. Bright up front acidity keeps things interesting, with fine grained tannins providing structure to the wine and leading to a full bodied, almost chewy texture at the finish. At roughly $12, this wine is an absolute steal considering the number of adjectives I needed to use to describe it!! Perfect with roast lamb, cassoulet, and earthy cheeses. Sante! - Drew Fuller, Wine Consultant (Staff Selection, Fall 2017)
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