Red Rhone Smackdown!…Six wines, one winner!

It was Red Rhone night for our community wine tasting club, the Pacific Pointe Wine Tasting Club. Our intention was to have red Rhone blends, but a couple of Rhone varietals were brought to the tasting, so we included in the competition. I was a bit surprised that all the Rhone blends were from France given that California produces so many fine red Rhone blends.  It was our first time tasting so many French wines.  As I found out later, that played a significant role in how the wines were scored.

We blind tasted a total of 6 wines. There were 4 Rhone blends from France, a Petite Sirah from California and a Shiraz from Australia. The wines ranged in price from $5-15.

The lineup...

My tasting notes follow:

  • 2009 Serabel Côtes du Rhône – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
    Garnet color with dark fruit, cedarwood, and a hint of mint aromas. On the palate one-dimensional, and angular with a tad too much acidity, and dark cherry, vanilla, mineral and spice flavors. Short finish.
  • 2009 Bogle Vineyards Petite Sirah – USA, California
    Dark, approaching inky garnet color with leather and dark fruit aromas. On the palate, it was bright with well-integrated tannins, and plum, dark cherry, mineral, and spice flavors. Medium finish.
  • 2009 Château Pesquié Côtes du Ventoux Terrasses – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Ventoux
    Dark garnet color with earthy, slightly funky dark fruit and leather aromas. On the palate medium-bodied, creamy, balance with blackberry, dark cherry, and spice flavors. Medium finish 70% Grenache/30% Syrah
  • 2009 Cave de Rasteau Côtes du Rhône Villages Rasteau Les Peyrieres – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Villages Rasteau
    Garnet color with earthy, dark fruit, and spice aromas. On the palate, light-bodied, thin and somewhat tannic with tart cherry, and spice flavors. Short-medium finish. 70% Grenache/20% Syrah/10% Mourvedre
  • 2009 Domaine Grand Veneur Côtes du Rhône Reserve – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
    Dark garnet color with earthy, dark fruit aromas. On the palate, light-bodied, easy, and fruit forward with the cherry, raspberry, and vanilla flavors. Short finish. 70% Grenache/20% Syrah/10% Cinsault
  • N.V. Little Roo Shiraz – Australia, South Eastern
    Garnet colored with tight nose, and simple red fruit aroma. On the palate, light-bodied with baked, raisiny one-dimensional cherry flavor. Short finish. 
And the winner….

2009 Cave de Rasteau Côtes du Rhône Villages Rasteau Les Peyrieres – Average score = 86.4

The average score for the winner was a bit lower than it has been for our wine tasting club.  My theory is that it was the first time many of our members experienced what I refer to as the “French funk” – the earthy, tobacco, barnyard smell that’s not unusual to find in French wines.

The first and second runners up were the Bogle Petite Sirah, and the Château Pesquié Côtes du Ventoux Terrasses with average scores of 84.8, and 84.2 respectively.


  1. I love you wine jackets! So cute! And very interesting results as I love Rhone wines, but I know most average palates are not fans, but they are remarkable wines! Rhone and Tuscany are my two all time favorite regions. Nice post!

    1. Thanks Renee! Got them in Chinatown for a buck each if you can believe that! We’ve not had a Tuscany tasting yet. We’ll have to add that to our list! Cheers!

  2. I’m sorry we had to miss this event. We love the Rhones, and you can be sure we’ll be on the lookout for the winning wine.

    Do you know the date for the next tasting yet?

    1. Hi Helen…we don’t know the date yet, but I’m not expecting the PPWTC to meet until next year January….

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