Highlights: Vidal-Fleury Côtes du Rhône 2016

I liked this wine much more than I was expecting to. Yes, it’s not cheap for a Côtes du Rhône – but it also has more flavour, character and interest than most examples of Châteauneuf-du-Pape that cost as much and more. Really impressive.

Vidal-Fleury Côtes du Rhône 2016 Southern Rhône, France
14% alcohol. This shows good concentration with powerful sweet blackberry and blackcurrant fruit as well as pepper and spice. It’s rich, dense and spicy with a grainy structure and some saline notes, as well as a hint of tar and olive. Very rich and bold with lovely ripe fruit, this has slight hints of over-ripeness, but it works really well with such a level of concentration and peppery detail. Blends in some savoury elements effortlessly. A very attractive example of Côtes du Rhône. 92/100 (£9.99 mix six price, Majestic, £12 Haywood Wines, Flagship Wines, Portland Wines, Shenfield Wines, Wine Utopia, The Wine Chambers)

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