El Cotes du Paso RoblesI almost never talk about “budget-friendly” wines.  But this bottle caught my eye when I was doing research (yeah, that’s it) for another project I’m working on.  Besides, spring is around the corner and it’s time to start searching for my summer out-on-the-patio wines.

I was at Fresh & Easy in the wine section looking for a ringer pink wine for an upcoming Rosé tasting I’m having as well as the above-mentioned project.  While I didn’t get any pink while there, I did see this interesting bottle of white.  It was a 2010 El Côtes du Paso Robles.  The varietals are all listed on the front of the label – 46% Viognier, 31% Roussanne, 8% Marsanne, 15% Grenache Blanc – all Côtes du Rhône whites.

How could I resist?  Especially for $6.99. What a steal. I purchased it immediately.

Well, after I spent too much money yesterday on a couple of extra Rosés (I only need six; somehow I ended up with twelve-I’m obsessed), I realized that I had spent my restaurant review money and had to prepare my own dinner.  Hated to mess up the clean kitchen, but oh well.  I had a nice piece of wild-caught sockeye and a tossed salad of mixed baby greens with heirloom tomatoes.  I took the wine out of the wine cooler and put it in the freezer. Just for about twenty minutes or so. I popped open the cork and poured it into the glass.

First of all, I was impressed with the viscosity of the wine.  It sort of lumbered around the glass like cooking oil.  Of course, its 14.2% alcohol content may have something to with that – pretty heftyNote the viscosity for a white wine.  I couldn’t immediately detect anything discernable on the nose. However, I’d just taken it out of the fridge so I figured the nose was muted.  I tasted it and grinned.  Lots of pear, apple, nuts, and a touch of honey. Shocking complexity for a $6.99 wine.  The mouthfeel is what got me.  It was full-bodied and mouthfilling.

After I’d drunk a couple of glasses (my pours, not restaurant pours), I relaxed in front of the tv for a while.  A couple of hours later, I stuck my nose in the glass and was greeted by fragrances of flowers (just a generic flowery fragrance), pear, and nuts.  Very muted, but there, nevertheless. I learned this secret many years ago when I had to go searching for hidden spots of dried puppy piddle.  Easier to find than when fresh. Really!

So that’s my quickie review of a surprisingly nice and budget-friendly Rhône varietal-based white wine by this red-wine lovin’ wine drinker.  Yes, I will buy more, and I would happily share this with a serious wine drinker.  And hope that s/he would be as surprised as I was. Not a life changer, but definitely recommended.


Just in – I found by accident that this modest little white wine was a gold medal winner in the San Diego International Wine Competition last year!

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