2009 Delas Freres Cotes-du-Rhone St Esprit 1.5 L

Year: 2009
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 87
Wine Advocate: 88
Red Wine
Price :
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"Soft for the vintage, with forward cherry and plum fruit, followed by a light vanilla shading on the finish. Drink now. 27,000 cases imported." (WS)

"The very good 2009 Cotes du Rhone St.-Esprit proves that these cuvees are best drunk in the first 1-2 years after bottling as they begin to fade quickly. While this 2009 is not yet fading, it is not as vibrant and heady as it was last year right after bottling.

As I noted last year, there has been tremendous progress and a definitive amelioration of quality with respect to the Chateauneuf du Papes being produced by Delas." (WA)


The ’07 and ’08 Delas Saint-Esprit were (and are) fantastic $9.99 red wine bargains. Then along comes the phenomenal 2009 vintage of this wine and it’s the best one yet! In the over 45 years of our Groups Saturday gatherings, the praise this wine received at our Saturday Wine Bunch lunch was some of the highest I have ever heard for a wine in this price range.

But not only do my Saturday wine companions and myself find it exceptional, read what Robert Parker recently wrote, when he rated the wine a 90 and, mentioned, “Delas Freres has produced two other outstanding sleepers of the vintage, and both wines dramatically over-deliver for their appellations. The brilliant 2009 Cotes du Rhone St.-Esprit is the best Cotes du Rhone I have ever tasted from Delas. Seventy percent Syrah, twenty percent Grenache and the rest Carignan and Mourvedre, this wine comes primarily form the Cotes du Rhone village of Cairanne. The wine has great fruit and a sweet raspberry and black cherry nose with some herbs, licorice, and pepper. Aged all in tank, the wine is medium to full-bodied and possesses sweet tannin as well as a long finish.”

The wine is now most enjoyable and will continue to offer good drinking for another three to maybe 5 years. I feel a major part of its aging ability lies in the fact that the wine is 70% Syrah.

RATING: 90+ (Compared to other red wines under $10, it truly deserves a 96/97).

PRICE: $9.99 ****bargain

WHERE: Los Angeles Wine Co.

(Martin's Guide to Wine Bargains)

"2009 is being touted as the next great vintage in France’s Rhone Valley. After the brilliant 2007 vintage, that’s saying a lot and the general consensus is ‘09 isn’t quite as great as ‘07. A Porsche isn’t quite as good as a Ferrari either.

This is the first ‘09 Rhone I’ve had with the Cotes-du-Rhones (think Central Coast) starting to be released and the pricier Chateauneuf-du-Pape (think Napa Valley) mostly yet to be released. Fill a case with this wine and Monday’s 90 point Tempranillo, and honestly I can’t think of a better value for 12 bottles.

A nose of crisp stone and raspberry leads into a beautiful juicy core of ripe red fruit in the mouth. Really nice balance and freshness. But the standout trait of this wine is the second wind it gets on the finish. Just when you think it’s done, it wallops you with another surge of flavor.

Let’s face it, it’s really difficult to find decent red wine under $10. I went through a streak where I flat out lost interest in the category because everything I tasted was a look-alike at best or a total bore at worst. That’s why I get so excited about this, a very serious wine for a price that suddenly makes me consider Tuesday wine night as a wine night.

The traditional Rhone crest on the bottle is a nice touch too." (Nickel & Dime)

Winery Notes:
The Côtes-du-Rhône Saint-Esprit is made from a blend of 90 percent Syrah and 10 percent Grenache grapes, which come from a small village in the Ardèche region. The vineyard’s southern exposure on steep granite hillsides provides the best growing conditions for the vines. Average production is 450,000 bottles per year.

All the grapes are de-stemmed. Fermentation and maceration take place in closed vats for approximately 15 days. Daily pumping over ensures extraction. Fermentation temperature is controlled and kept between 82°F and 86°F. After de-vatting, pressing and racking, malolactic fermentation is carried out in stainless steel vats. Part of the wine (30%) is aged in oak barrels as to provide a touch of wood in the blend. The remaining is kept in vats to preserve fruit aromas. These wines are racked regularly in order to allow their components to stabilize naturally. The Saint Esprit cuvée is bottled after blending and light filtering.

Tasting Notes
The Saint-Esprit’s deep color has a dark, plum-like hue. The nose is classical Syrah, with berry fruit, violet, licorice and spices. It has a full, rounded palate with delicate tannins. Saint-Esprit is a unique wine in the Côtes-du-Rhône appellation and can be paired with Provençale-style cuisine, game, stuffings and mixed grills.