The Rhone Rangers, a cheekily-named group of winemakers and viticulturalists in California’s Central Coast, are combining typical grape varieties from France’s Rhone Valley with California sunshine—and California attitude.
While these styles of wine can be expensive (i.e. domestic Syrah in the Hermitage and Cote Rotie price category), there are fantastic Cotes du Rhone-like wines that come in at a much friendlier price.
A current favorite is Morgan’s Cote du Crow’s from Monterey, a blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache. The name itself is a spin on Côtes du Rhône, and just like wines from that region, Morgan’s version is wonderfully refined and elegant at such a modest price. The Syrah gives the wine a spicy, herbaceous bouquet, while the Grenache lends itself to a juicy strawberry and cranberry filled palate. The winemaker, Gianni Abate, uses French barrels to gently age the wine, which offers a slight vanilla finish without overpowering its delicate finesse. An ideal wine for cold weather, it is hearty enough to stand up to stews, roasts, grilled meats, and spicy food.
Retail Price: $12.99