At this point, the wines of E. Guigal – the negotiant and winemaker who is partly responsible for putting France’s Rhône wine region on the map – have become ubiquitous across the United States, with offerings at the high end as well as the low. But unlike other massive producers whose introductory, more affordable bottles often suffer in quality as growth occurs, E. Guigal’s wines do not. And that is especially the case when drinking E. Guigal’s Côtes Du Rhône Rouge.

Across the country it’s become easier and easier to find Côtes Du Rhône wines, but it’s a rarity that they deliver so well at this bottle’s $15 price point. A traditional GSM blend – Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre – this wine is dominant in Syrah, which is a slight departure from GSM blends at this price-point that are often Grenache heavy. The result is a smooth, easy drinking red with a lot of character.

In the glass the wine pours a deep, dark red, thanks in large part to the Syrah. Aromas of bright red strawberries, raspberries, cherries and blueberries as well as a bit of pepper waft from the glass. On the palate the wine is ripe and round, with smooth tannins and a nice amount of acidity. The bright fruit flavors are there, along with the spicy pepper, resulting in an incredibly pleasing wine that is extremely drinkable, and delivers quality that is well above the wine’s $15 price point.

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