2018 Cellier Des Dauphins Reserve Cotes Du Rhone

The producer is a cooperative of 13 large vintners. The wine is delicious; in fact, so delicious, that the UK’s Decanter magazine awarded it 97 points and a platinum medal. The review was enthusiastic, to say the least: "This is delicious! Very classy and appealing aromas of flowers, garrigue, spice, and forest floor. On the palate, sweet vanilla oak marries into the charming and svelte herbal, red and blue fruit mix. It's full of flavour, super supple, super drinkable and authentic. Bouquet, taste, finish: all are magnificent." Now, I’m not going to argue with Decanter, but c’mon: 97 points? Nah. Too high. And as for Wine Enthusiast’s Anna Lee Iijima, her 89-point rating was a bit on the low side: “A blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah, this plump, perfumed red entices with aromas of pristine blackberry accented by fresh beet root and herb. It's densely fruity and voluminous in mouthfeel but lifted by a touch of minerality. Best now–2024.” Frankly, I don’t even know where one gets beet root to familiarize oneself with the taste. I believe the wine is a 90- to 91-pointer. It’s really very smooth and flavorful, and for less than $11 from four or five sources, it’s truly a good deal.

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