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Boudinaud’s 2012 Côtes du Rhône La Boissière is about half Grenache and a quarter Syrah with the balance divvied up between Mourvedre, Cinsault and Counoise.Yeah, this is a Côtes du Rhône alright. Supple, strawberry fruit merges with spicy white pepper Syrah notes, while the Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Counoise complete the aromatic experience. It is a typical Southern Rhône story here at Domaine Boudinaud, with climate and soil perfectly suited for the varietals. But what isn’t typical is the exceptional quality of the 2012 La Boissière. It is compact and jammy on the palate and aromatically on pointe with the berry notes and whiffs of lavender and garrigue.
David&Thierry
David & Thierry
I’ve been on a Southern Rhône kick. They’re such good values; I find it hard to pass them up. For Domaine Boudinaud, the newly arrived 2012 reds usher in a Golden Age for the winery. Thierry Boudinaud has always made super-value wines – we’ve been importing his wines for a long time, so we know – however his 2012 reds enter an even higher plane of excellence. Admittedly, I fall into wine-writing cliché here, but it’s unavoidable because it is true: the 2012 reds are Domaine Boudinaud’s best wines to date. Like with Couronneauand Pierazzuoli, as the years advance, so has the quality of their wines. Surely they were terrific to begin with, otherwiseThe Wine House wouldn’t have bothered to import them in the first place, but what you see in these instances over time is the evolution of place and winemaker.
 

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Which way to Boudinaud?
 

Have you ever had one of those weeks where a seemingly innocuous playground accident turned into a three hour visit at the doctor’s office, then leaving with your child wearing a cast on her hand? The visit to the doctor, of course, had been further complicated because your husband’s truck was in the shop and had to use your car for the day, so you had to borrow a ride to get to the doctor’s office in the first place? It doesn’t end there – the truck doesn’t get fixed as quickly as promised, therefore you had to get ready even earlier all week so that there was enough time to drive your husband to work before dropping your child off at school and then try to make it to work on time? What about deciding to wake up extra early on that week’s Saturday so that you can take a long, peaceful shower and perhaps linger over coffee while reading the morning paper before heading off to work, only to discover that the doghad thrown-up in the kitchen as well as had pooped all over the floor of the shower? Ever had one of those weeks? I think you know what I am talking about.

 
Boissiere12After work last Saturday, I brought home a bottle ofBoudinaud’s 2012La BoissièreCôtes du Rhône to have with veggie burgers. Given the week I had, I wasreally looking forward to that glass of wine! But before I could even touch my lips to the rim, my cell phone blew up with texts. Before I could shoot a text back, the texter called up on the telephone- great…something must be up! After quelling this mini-crisis, I returned to the kitchen and was handed a glass of theLa Boissière by my husband. I was about to fill him in on the phone conversation, but couldn’t get the words out of my mouth because the aromas of the wine stopped me in my tracks…it smelled so good. In fact so good, Iknew I was going to love this wine! And sure enough, I do.
 
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Owl House Red from Ledgewood Creek Winery

Monday, January 23, 2012 4:36 PM

If I were to recommend a wine to you that had a screw cap and a picture of a cute owl on it, was non-vintage AND, here’s the kicker, cost less than $10 would you think that I lost my marbles? I probably would but then again in my defense, as I’ve been known to repeat ad nauseam, finding a fabulous bottle of wine for $100 is a lot easier to do than to find a wine worth recommending that costs well under $10! The NV Owl House Red from Ledgewood Creek Winery is a simple table wine made from a whole bunch of different grape varieties, but it is the smattering of Counoise that in my opinion gives it its character.Counoise is a dark-skinned Rhone varietal known for tempering the alcohol and tannin of Syrah and Grenache. When vinified alone flavors of soft plum and juicy cherry dominate with light tannins and medium acidity; it’s a wine meant to be drunk young. This too aptly describes the Owl House Red which is medium-bodied with soft tannins and a juicy core of plum and cherry. (As an aside, I just learned that Tablas Creek was the first to put Counoise on their front label in the States. But before that happened, Tablas Creek had to submit a full dossier of material to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms so that Counoise could be recognized as a legitimate grape. This process took two years!!!) When the Owl House Red arrived at the shop, I took a bottle home to get to know it better. I remember it was a particularly hectic day so I opted to forgo making dinner and ordered take-out from our favorite pizza place conveniently located down the street. We ordered pepperoni pizza – yeah, I caved – fortunately it turned out to be one of the best pepperoni pizzas I’ve ever had and with it easily siphoned off (with my husband of course!) a bottle of the Owl House Red. A simple red with a simple pie, nothing could have tasted better at that moment…truly.

Managing to shirk off my weekend write-up duties for the last couple weeks (thank you Pete for covering for me without even having to ask!), I felt I wanted to ease into 2012 with an honest serviceable wine that can deliver simple pleasure as we move away from the craziness (and excesses?) of end-of-year festivities and celebrations. I predict I’ll be grabbing several bottles of Owl House Red over the next few weeks while I recover from shopping like a rock star last month. Luckily it’ll be less painful tightening the belt as long as I’ve got a glass of this charming, juicy red on hand.
Anya Balistreri

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