To be called a Chateauneuf du Pape – the quaff king of the Southern Rhone – a wine must be composed of grapes grown in the designated Chateauneuf du Pape area. What about wines made by Chateauneuf du Pape growers, but from grapes grown in an immediately adjacent vineyard? Those are Côtes du Rhône wines and they sell for less, but most don’t have that special Chateauneuf du Pape character. But wait! There’s more! Just read this review from Jeb Dunnuck, probably the most-trusted of all Rhône-wine reviewers: “One of the finest vintages of this cuvée to date, the 2016 Côtes du Rhône Les Champauvins (70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre) is a brilliant, sexy, medium to full-bodied Côtes du Rhône that offers a spectacular bouquet of garrigue, peppery herbs, pine, and sweet red and black fruits. With beautiful complexity, a layered, seamless texture, notable tannins, and a great finish, it easily competes with any number of more expensive Châteauneuf-du-Papes and Gigondas. It’s great today yet will keep for 7-8 years.” He rated it at 94 points, meaning the wine is spectacular. And as for Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: “Now that it's in the bottle, the 2016 Cotes du Rhone les Champauvins is looking as good as I predicted last year. It's a full-bodied, concentrated wine that could mop the floor with many Châteauneufs. Rich black cherry fruit is joined by complex herb and spice notes, a creamy mid-palate and a lingering finish. Worth buying by the case [92 points].” Mop the floor? Really? So I bought a case, because the deal was so good: Under $15 per bottle with discounted shipping. That deal’s gone, but the wine is still in stock, typically for $16+. This is an amazingly good wine that should keep well for seven or eight years. I opened a bottle about a week after it arrived. Wow! Find it here:

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