As summer finally kicks into high gear and grilling becomes a daily occurrence, these Côtes du Rhônes will match almost anything cooked over charcoal (or gas, if you must). Serve them with a slight chill (around 60°F) to accentuate the fruit and tame any alcoholic warmth.
90 Vignobles Boudinaud 2009 Côté Jardin (Côtes du Rhône). This medium- to full-bodied wine is round without being soft, and delivers a complex swirl of cherry, olive and herb flavors. It even picks up a bit of chocolate on the finish. Robert Kacher Selections.
abv: 13.5% Price: $15
89 Domaine Charles Thomas 2009 Côtes du Rhône. A blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre, this is a full-bodied, richly textured wine redolent of wild thyme and lavender, black cherries and a hint of cocoa. Kysela Père et Fils.
abv: 13% Price: $12
89 Domaine de Dionysos 2009 La Devèze (Côtes du Rhône). The cherry, leather and chocolate aromas also are accompanied by a slight citrusy scent. It’s creamy, warm and inviting, with black cherry and plum fruit, then chocolaty on the finish. Serge Doré Selections.
abv: 14% Price: $13
89 Ferraton Père et Fils 2009 Samorëns (Côtes du Rhône). It’s only medium-bodied, but this wine displays charming notes of wild herbs that make it irresistible. The floral and herbal notes wrap seamlessly around the core of ripe cherry fruit. Baron Francois Ltd.
abv: 14% Price: $14
88 Delas Frères 2009 Saint-Esprit (Côtes du Rhône). Unlike most Côtes du Rhônes, this one is based on Syrah. The result is a slightly less weighty, spicier wine than typical, but one that remains round, with cherries and silky tannins. Maisons Marques & Domaines USA.
abv: 13.5% Price: $12
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