Domain Guy Mousset Cuvee Reservee Rose

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This rose has a lovely salmon hue; however, it offers little beyond the pleasing color. The nose offers hints of strawberry shortcake and minerality, but the palate is rather fruitless, and for $8.99 we certainly expect more. Though not a horrible wine, there are better options at this price.

Rhône Valley Vineyards La Ferme Julien Róse

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This is far better than the red Ferme Julien of the same vintage, which we reviewed a few months back. This one is 50% Cinsault, 40% Grenache, and 10% Syrah. The nose offers light strawberry and cherry notes, along with something a little nutty and yeasty. On the palate, it is light and acidic, with just a hint of allspice on the finish. Bone dry, refreshing, and food-friendly.

Val de la Pierre Châteauneuf-du-Pape

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Very fruity nose, with Beaujolais-like banana featured prominently. The taste is thin and rather nondescript, with a slightly metallic aftertaste. A very poor showing from Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

Perrin Reserve Côtes du Rhône

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This is an easy-drinking Rhone blend from major negociant Perrin et Fils. It’s 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre, and 10% Cinsault. The back label says the grapes came from both Chateau de Beaucastel’s vineyards and others in the Côtes du Rhône. The nose is slight, but not necessarily simple: we discovered mild fruit and floral notes, and even some woody and spicy notes. Maybe a tad thin on the tongue, but at $6.99, this is a bargain taste of the Rhone. The lighter style also makes this one more food-friendly than most current southern Rhone wines. Screwcap closure.

Vidal-Fleury Cotes du Rhone

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Here is a southern Rhone blend of 65% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre, and 5% Carignan. The 2007 vintage in southern Rhone was a great one, and Wine Spectator rated this $7 wine a respectable 87 points. Our opinion is less favorable. The wine is cloudy, with a pronounced amount of floating sediment. The nose reveals dark berry fruit, licorice, cocoa, and crayon. It’s the taste, though, that sends this wine to our skip list. In addition to sharp tannins, there’s an aggressive burning sensation in the initial finish, followed by an unappealing green, leafy aftertaste that lingers far too long.