Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Caves du Fournalet Cotes du Rhone 2011 Wine Review (NW)

Tasting notes:

Red currant notes on the nose

Light to medium bodied on the palate

Cherry and spice on the finish with light pepper accents


Well, I haven't reviewed many Trader Joe's wines on this site in part because PB does a great job covering the Trader Joe's selection for our readers. He hasn't hit this one yet, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

Here's the deal: this is a simple, straightforward wine that tastes like it should and goes down easily. It's a "you get what you pay for wine". But there's a catch- it's a noteworthy wine because there simply isn't a lot of Cotes du Rhone imported into the US at this price.  As a Trader Joe's exclusive, it's only $5.99.  Packaged in a squat 750mL botttle that recalls a common French bottle shape from several hundred years ago, it's probably tucked away on the bottom shelf of the French red wine section going unnoticed.

This is where Trader Joe's shines, particularly now with French, Italian, and South American wine (name brand wines are not particularly good bargains at TJ's). They sell a ton of exclusive house brand bottlings at single digit prices built on the successful Charles Shaw model. There are some really good Cotes du Rhone wines at $10-20 in most other wine shops, but you just won't find much wine priced at six bucks like this.

These bargain wines at Trader Joe's are in the spirit of the table wines of Europe. Consumed night after night at the dinner table, they are simple, affordable, reliable wines that no one in their right mind would wax eloquent about on a blog like this. On the other hand, in the US we tend to put special status on wine and consume far less per capita. As a result, we analyze and perhaps over-analyze even cheap everyday wine. The problem is compounded by restaurant markups on cheap wine in the US that are often 300-400% over retail forcing us to, at times, treat even simple bottles as splurges. This is not the intent for a wine like this. Just pour a glass, drink it with dinner, and do it again the next night.

Thanks to Trader Joe's for capturing this spirit. While I don't buy a lot of wine there, I appreciate the model and am glad to see that its allowed people to sample wines from around the world at rock bottom prices. Raise a glass!


buy wine on-line said...

It is my pleasure to know about this wine and for me this kind of wine is so delicious. Thanks for the share.

PB said...

Nice post!

Anonymous said...

The trick about finding a good wine is simple. Spend $ 20.00 and you will usually get a decent bottle and rarely go wrong. Spend $ 30.00 or higher - you will enter the special occasion category, and these vintages are usually worth the money too. Finding a wine like this however "cotes due Rhone", now that is a true find, and this one is one is in a class by itself and finds its ploace at every nights dinner table. I am of European origin, grew up drinking wine with every meal, and became a wine lover at an early age. This wine IS in my cellar amongst a few others with similar characteristics. Cheers and most of all pair food with wine (so important!)

Michelle McDonald said...

Had this wine last night and plan to buy several more. Agree that it is a nice, everyday drinking wine and a steal at $5.99. Trader Joe's FINALLY opened in our town last week...am happy to have a new place to buy well priced, everyday wine.