Fred's turn to host our local wine group, theme was Southern Rhone. I
picked up and drove to Fred's home (I always drive there, but never
home!). Fred had a nice spread with a pheasant pate, several cheeses,
radishes, sausages, etc as well as some lamb-stuffed tomatoes.

He had the 2009 St Cosme Cotes du Rhone blanc out for a starter. I've
not been a fan of most St Cosmes I've had lately, and am not a big
white Rhone guy, but this wasn't bad. Floral, round, oily, but enough
acidity to keep lively. B/B-

On to the red wines, all blind.

Wine #1- well this one wasn't blind for me, as I brought it. Herb and
underbrush, rich red fruits, moderate acids, leather, earth. Guesses
were mostly CdP, good CdR. 2001 Coudoulet du Beaucastel Cotes du
Rhone. B+

Wine #2- Cherry, earth, fairly light, a bit soft. 2007 Fenouillet
Cotes du Rhone Villages Beaumes-de-Venise (I've had Muscat BdV before,
my first red). B-

Wine #3 - Slightly overripe flavors, a bit short. 2006 Domaine de la
Croze Granier Lirac*. B-/C+

Wine #4 -Ripe sweet fruit, big, tannic, needs a bit of time. 2006
Mordoree Lirac . B

Wine #5- flat edge, seems tired but without a lot of developed
aromas, ripe fruit, old CdP? 2001 Guigal Chateauneuf-du-Pape. B-/C+

Wine #6- red fruit, more lively than some, bretty, but more of the
leathery/barnyard style than the full fledged poop. Well within my
level of tolerance. 2009 *Ch. Virgile (Costieres Nimes). B

Wine #7- fairly fresh, red fruit, hint of herb. Nice, though I was
thinking CdR. It's actually a Chateauneuf du Pape. Actually, that's
what the label says- just 2008 Chateauneuf-du-Pape. In the teeny tiny
print it say
Raoul Clerget , with a 30210 code (Gard, not that far away). B

Wine #8 - low acids, big, a hint of brett, not my fave. Turns out I've
had couple times before (though I don't remember brett), the 2007
Brunel "Sabrine" Cotes du Rhone Villages. C+/B-

Fun night with the guys. Betsy swung by on the way home from opera,
gave several of us rides home. I've gotten less enamored with S. Rhone
over last decade, but some fun wines.

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent
wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't
drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no
promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.

*