This is an absolutely delicious white wine; the kind of wine even inveterate red-wine lovers can enjoy, even in the winter (although more likely in the spring and summer). Two respected critics rated it about the same, although you’d have to scratch your head wondering why given that their reviews indicate two markedly different wines. According to The Wine Advocate’s Joe Czerwinski, “The 2016 Cotes du Rhone Blanc is, as usual, dominated by Viognier, which accounts for almost two-thirds of the blend. There’s 15% Roussanne, and the rest is smaller proportions of Marsanne, Clairette and Bourboulenc. Grenache Blanc accounts for only 2% to 3% of the blend. The wine is medium-bodied and plump, with floral, apricot aromas and decent roundness in the mouth, balanced by just enough citrus zest to provide a bit of an edge. Drink it in its youth.” His solid (but less than rave) review more or less matches his rating of 89 points. Drink it this year, he says. Personally, I think the better-known Josh Raynolds (writing in Vinous Media) got it better, at least according to my taste buds: “Limpid straw-yellow. Fresh pear, orange and white flowers on the fragrant, incisive nose. Juicy and energetic in the mouth, offering focused citrus and orchard fruit and honeysuckle flavors and seamless texture. Closes on a minerally note, displaying very good clarity and spicy bite.” Now THAT’S a GREAT review! Josh says it will last through 2023, meaning it should get better in the bottle (if you can wait). It’s available for as little as $13.

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