The team behind this “Baby Chateauneuf” call the project Panicaut and it hails from one of the many Cotes du Rhone Villages where impeccable winemaking standards, old vines and a very long history all came together to elevate this region from once obscurity to big time importance. The Village we’re talking about is a mouthful, Plan de Dieu Cotes du Rhone Villages, and the wines are just as much a mouthful. All the primary players from Chateauneuf make an appearance here: Grenache plays center stage at 70%, while Mourvedre plays supporting role and best man at 30%. Smoky black cherry, bouquet garni, beautifully pure, oh so lively and mouthwatering, easy drinking and as complex as any Chateauneuf you’ve dropped $75 on, Panicaut struts its stuff with a mid-palate depth and finish that lasts for days! The purity comes from the lack of oak here, it’s all about fruit, terroir and winemaking. This bottle open next to me makes it all worthwhile! This is one screamin’ value! Wow, what a wine.
Wine Advocate: A blend of Grenache and Mourvèdre from one of the hotter parts of the Rhône Valley, the Cotes du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu Panicaut offers up ripe, almost baked notes of plums, black cherries and licorice. It’s full-bodied, ripe and rich, typical of the appellation and vintage, yet isn’t overbearing or warm.
Everyday Low Price: $15.99 (!)