What first attracted my attention was the interesting Mondavi-esque lip on the neck of the bottle that gives the appearance of a purposeful design that would perfectly accommodate a double lever winged corkscrew or provide a solid interlocking grip for a Rabbit corkscrew. Unlike the Mondavi bottle, where the lip is a literal extension of the mouth of the bottle, the Chemin des Papes bottle proved to be eminently corkscrew friendly. Two thumbs up to the bottle designer. Form and function. Virginia would like that.
Priced well at five dollars US, this typically under-ten-dollar Rhone blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah is a bargain. The bouquet is a little fumey with pomegranate and cherry that escapes the Curse of the Cherries® (a sickly, off-sweet, cloying taste that is often passed off as cherries and often afflicts cheap red wine). On the palate the wine is medium bodied, with red fruit, some tannins, and a quite dry finish.
The Chemin des Papes red is a decent everyday wine that you should serve with red sauce dishes or pizza. I also suspect you could chill the wine just a bit and serve it up with some tasty tapas on a warm summer night.
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