Domaine Pélaquié, Laudun Côtes du Rhône Villages (Rhône Valley, France) 2019

($14, Bowler):  Laudun, one of the 22 villages allowed to attach the village name to the Côte du Rhône Villages appellation, has applied for, and is likely to be elevated, to cru status, which would put it on a level with Rasteau and Cairanne, other named villages who were formerly under the Côtes du Rhône Villages umbrella.  That means there is general agreement among French wine regulators, no easy group to satisfy, that the wines from this village are particularly distinctive and noteworthy.  This mid-weight one from Domaine Pélaquié, one of the top producers in the region, certainly is.  A blend of Grenache and Syrah, it delivers a harmonious balance of dark fruitiness and spicy savory nuances.  It has good depth and remarkable refinement.  You would never guess it weighs in at a 14.5 percent stated alcohol because there’s not a trace of heat, heaviness, or over ripeness.  It’s not a powerhouse, but still makes a powerful presence.  And it’s a bargain!
92 Michael Apstein May 30, 2023