There are probably a dozen or more Cotes du Rhônes that are credible candidates to join Château de Ségriès and the various bottlings from Perrin et Fils on the Top 5 French red wine values list. But none have the consistency year-in and year-out of the basic red from Henri de Lanzac, who bought the Château de Ségriès estate nearly 20 years ago and has been improving the wines ever since.
None of the critics have yet reviewed the 2012 vintage of the wines from France’s southern Rhône Valley, so you’ll have to try a bottle of the 2012 Château de Ségriès Cotes du Rhône on spec. But it won’t cost much, since it’s on sale for $8.99 at Magruder’s on Connecticut Ave., just over the District line in Chevy Chase. That’s easily the lowest price in the country for a wine that typically sells for $12 to $15 a bottle.
[Fine this wine online or at a wine shop near you.]
As noted here before, Château de Ségriès Cotes du Rhône is a classic Rhône blend of 50 percent grenache, 30 percent syrah and the rest cinsault and carignan. It tends to be a fruit-driven wine that only gets a hint of barrel aging in oak, the type of juicy red that everyday Rhône fans (like us) love. “True Cotes du Rhnôe in a Bistro style,” is how the importer, the always reliable Kysela Pere et Fils, describes the 2012.
According to Wine Spectator’s vintage report, published in November, the 2012 wines from Cotes du Rhône should be a good bet. “While most of France's major wine regions struggled in 2012, the Rhône stands apart. Vintners are positive after a growing season and harvest marked by dry, sunny weather and well-timed rains.”
An even better reason to take a chance on this consistently solid producer is its unbroken string of good wines. Parker is a big fan, having awarded scores for consecutive vintages 2003 through 2011 of 88, 87, 88, 89, 87, 89 and 88. If the wine wasn’t delicious, such consistency might be monotonous.
And Parker’s not the only fan, Wine Spectator has awarded solid scores of 84, 88, 85 and 88 for the last four vintages it reviewed, and the average scores of users of CellarTracker.com from 2003 through 2011 look every bit as generous (they are usually stingier with their points) and as constant as Parker’s.
If you’re a fan of the rich, flavorful, yet approachable reds of the Cotes du Rhône, why not be the first person on your block to serve a 2012?
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