The Laurent Dublanc Cotes du Rhone 2020 is a $6.99 Trader Joe’s import exclusive, except in New York. Grocery Stores are not permitted to sell wine and spirits in New York, so Trader Joe’s exclusive wines sometimes end up in retail wine shops. This Red Blend sells for $11.99 in New York wine shops.
In Europe, Trader Joe’s is Aldi Nord and Aldi is Aldi Sud, and here is an Aldi Sud advert for the wine. Both Aldi stores are known as the home of the best cheap wines in Europe. White both Trader Joe’s and Aldi’s wine selections have been stagnant for months, they are excellent places to look for import wine bargains.
The Cotes du Rhone is in the southern half of the Rhone Valley. Red wine blends using Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre are the rule, and the Laurent Dublanc Cotes du Rhone 2020 is no exception. Trader Joe’s does not offer information on the grape blend, but past vintages have been the classic GSM blend.
This is an AOP-designated wine that is in the top tier of wines in France. There are different categories inside the AOP, Cru wines are at the top, then village-designated wines, wines from a selection of chosen villages, and the more general Cotes du Rhone wines. The Rhine River Valley is in Germany, it is easy to confuse the two.
The Laurent Dublanc Cotes du Rhone 2020 by a wine company that uses communes for the grapes. Communes are an association of small independent vineyards. They are typically too small to afford to build winemaking facilities, so grouping them together allows them to produce wine.
Inexpensive Cotes du Rhone wines are often un-oaked or use neutral oak barrels, and lined cement vats are commonly used to age the wine. Aging wine loves to be left alone with no variations in temperature and humidity and cement vats achieve that better than oak barrels or stainless steel vats. The alcohol content is more in California than in France 14.5%.
The Laurent Dublanc Cotes du Rhone 2020 Tasting Notes
The color is dark, but still see-thru black cherry red with black highlights. The nose has dark berries, soft spice, black pepper, blueberry, herbs, and dark plums. The Laurent Dublanc Cotes du Rhone 2020 has a soft mouth feel and smooth fruit flavors with a late slap of sharp spice.
This Cotes du Rhone blend tastes like extracted blackberry, intense licorice, softer blueberry, black pepper, and strawberry. The mid-palate includes a slight pull from the tannins (this is a good thing, a proper French Red wine will have tannins), plum, orange zest, and a shock of spice.
- The Laurent Dublanc Cotes du Rhone 2020 is a solid introduction to southern Rhone Valley wines.
- Some folks will not drink a $6.99 Red wine but have no problem with a $12 wine, if you want to pay twelve bucks for this red go to New York.