Theme for the day: Rhone Varietals.
Wine 1: 2004 Guigal Côtes du Rhône Blanc. Rhone, France. Mix of Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, and Roussanne. Light and fruity, with a little sweetness. Lots of pear, some peach flavors. $11.
Wine 2: 2004 Rosenblum Chateau La Paws Cote du Bone Blanc. California. Rhone whites with some Viognier in there. Bright, green apple nose. Very mild and light with a slightly bitter aftertaste. $15.
Wine 3: 2004 Tablas Creek Grenache Blanc. Paso Robles, California. This is the first pure Grenache Blanc that I've had. No discernable nose to it; I found it kind of neutral. Perhaps it should have been a little closer to room temperature? $28.
Wine 4: 2003 Rosenblum Roussane Fess Parker Vineyard. Santa Barbara, California. Prominent taste and aroma of bananas with a little citrus. Full, round mouth feel. An unusual yet delicious wine. $21.
Wine 5: 2005 Rosenblum Viognier Kathy's Cuvee. California. Lightly sweet, acidic and crisp. Missing the herbal notes that you get in some Viogniers, but a good solid wine. $19.
Wine 6: 2004 La Vielle Ferme Rouge Cotes du Ventoux. Rhone, France. 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% Carignan, 15% Cinsault. Ripe strawberry and cherry aromas, light and refreshing with mild tannins. Good bargain. $9.
Wine 7: 2004 Las Rocas Garnacha. Calatayud, Spain. This is the second or third time I've had this wine, and I still love it. $10.
Wine 8: 2001 Caves des Papes "Oratorio" Gigondas. Rhone, France. 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre. Very light and mild, mineral notes on the finish. Very delicate. $34.
Wine 9: La Crau de Ma Mere Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Rhone, France. Not much of a nose, but some barnyard flavors with good fruit. Drying tannins. $36.
Wine 10: 2003 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel Rouge. Paso Robles, California. 50% Mourvèdre, 27% Syrah, 16% Grenache, 7% Counoise. Hey, another new grape! Counoise is a Rhone grape used in blending Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Black cherry nose, with matching flavors including plum. Full, firm tannins. $40.
Wine 11: 2004 Altos de Luzon. Jumilla, Spain. Blend of Mourvedre, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Tempranillo. Very dark. Rich, deep dark plum and blackberry flavors. Complex and delicious. $16.