Rhônes get a makeover

These favorite Côtes du Rhônes were chosen from a new generation of Rhône winemakers.

Côtes du Rhône is virtually a synonym for “not-too-fancy French red,” said Eric Asimov in The New York Times. But this earthy wine is a textbook example of the “changes that have transformed the French wine industry in the last 20 years.”

A new generation of Rhône winemakers is creating “a surprising number of plush, polished wines.” A Times panel recently sampled 25 Côtes du Rhônes. Our three favorites:

Domaine le Garrigon Côtes du Rhône 2006 ($14)

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“Best value.” This pleasantly aromatic wine proves Côtes du Rhône “can still be an excellent value.”

Domaine Grès St. Vincent Côtes du Rhône 2006 ($13)

Bright, complex, and a close second for top honors.

Château de Fonsalette Côtes du Rhône 2004 ($57)

“Flavors of spice and menthol.”

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