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Wine of the Week: 2007 Château Suzeau Côtes du Rhône

Thu Oct 9, 2008


On Monday the Dow plunged like Paris Hilton’s neckline. It continued to fall on Tuesday and again yesterday, all the while our national debt has climbed. The economic turmoil might drive you to drink, if you could still afford a quaffable bottle of wine.

Fortunately, affordable wine is my specialty. Working at K&L Wine Merchants, I have the opportunity to taste dozens of wines a week, from the dirt cheap to the “I wish I could afford this.” One recent discovery on the “dirt cheap” end of the spectrum is this delicious, snappy Côtes du Rhône from Château Suzeau. This beauty comes from winemaker Cecile Chassagne’s negociant project, where she buys fruit and occasionally finished wine and helps to get it to market. K&L has done business with Chassagne for years, importing her wines directly and passing the savings on to customers, which is why this incredible little wine only costs $8.99 a bottle!

Surprisingly fresh and approachable for such a young wine, its deep crimson color has a purplish rim, like velvet trimming on a royal robe. Comprised of 80% grenache and 20% syrah, the wine’s black cherry and blackberry aromas mingle with a little garrigue and black pepper spice. On the palate the wine is soft and giving (as in: give me more), with savory herb and black fruit flavors, fresh acidity and barely there tannins. Sure this doesn’t offer the complexity of a Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but it has enough intrigue to enjoy on its own and the style to enjoy with everything from braised lamb shanks to short ribs with parsnip puree or a even a warm Brussels sprout salad with pancetta and sherry vinegar. Because it’s so young, I recommend decanting for an hour before drinking to full appreciate everything this wine has to offer. And if your belt isn’t too tight, buy a little to stash away. This kind of deal doesn’t come along everyday, but the wine will continue to develop over the next five years.

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3 Responses to “Wine of the Week: 2007 Château Suzeau Côtes du Rhône”

  1. Brooke Says:

    I can attest that this wine is not only a bargain but a great tasting wine for lamb and other rustic fall dishes. A definite MUST for any frugal wine lover’s stash!

    Thanks for reminding me how great this wine is. I have to go buy a case!

  2. kat Says:

    Oh sounds like one I’d like. Lucky your working for K&L, such a wonderful store.

  3. Julie Says:

    With Brooke’s post on Paris and your post on a Cote du Rhone wine… I’m getting all nostalgic. I have had a special affinity towards wines from the Rhone Valley ever since I lived in Lyon. Thanks for the rec.

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