2009 Cotes du Rhone Blanc, Andre Brunel’s Becassonne

It may as well have been a holiday around here last Friday. The latest installment of Andre Brunel’s Cotes du Rhone Blanc “Becassonne” arrived in our shop! It is such a popular wine with staff and customers alike, that there is an unofficial waiting list for this wine … every year! Why? Because it sells out quickly. Every year. Why?

Let’s start with value. Brunel makes a white Chateauneuf-du-Pape called “Les Cailloux”. It is special wine. But it sells for over 40 dollars a bottle. It is not 3 times better than this Cotes du Rhone. The “Becassonne” is crafted by the same winemaker, with the same grape varieties, grown in vineyards of similar minerals as the Chateauneuf Blanc. At around a third of the price. Questions?

People pleasin’ appeal. Our staff don’t even have to taste this wine. (We do, though … thankfully). All one needs to do is watch. Customers of all tastes (Old World, New World) walk out of here with boxes of this wine. They return, again and again, until it sells out. Then they return and ask to be put on a waiting list for the next batch. Just observing that phenomenon is enough to deduce that this wine is popular with a whole lot of folks!

Food pairing. You can pour the “Becassonne” with a wide variety of cuisines. It will shine with informal things like a chicken sandwich, pork chow mein, or cocktail prawns. It will also glow with those lucky enough to procure an abalone, or with Chicken Kiev, or Lobster. It’s just that dang good!

It’s different. You don’t have to be a full-fledged wine geek to appreciate this wine (though wine geeks love it too!). Sure, show up to parties, picnics, or any summer gathering and take a look at the white wines people bring. You’re bound to find Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, maybe the occasional Pinot Grigio, but probably not Cotes du Rhone Blanc. In light of a recent blog post by the SF Chronicle’s former wine editor W. Blake Gray, wines like this one have a future!

It IS unstoppable! We’re getting out of the way here. Come get it while you can!

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Filed under Cotes du Rhone, French Wine, Peter Zavialoff, Rhone

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