RKS Wine: The Penniless Pensioner Falls for the Rating Game and the Label

PP wanted me to try, on my own nickel may I add, a Réserve de La Roncière Cuvée Traditionelle Côtes du Rhône. PP is excited as he saw a little seal on the bottle saying the esteemed James Suckling rated this $15.95 wine a robust 90 points. I pointed out to PP Suckling is a bit too generous in my books. Despite that his eyes glazed over at the label which on quick glance one might mistake for a much more expensive Châteauneuf de Pape. How wine savvy is PP? I thought he was all above this type of marketing. Obviously not.

Well no sense in dilly dallying about so why not give it a try. It is an oft encountered GSM blend you’ll encounter in the Rhône and in Australia. G is for Grenache. S is for Syrah. M is for Mourvèdre.

It has a luscious nose of big fat almost overly ripe strawberries, red plums, blackberries and black Washington State cherries. On the palate surprisingly gentle tannins. You get on the palate what you get on the nose with a definite licorice and peppery twist. This is one very well-made wine. As for it’s style there is a certain elegance to it despite its simplicity. I would say drink now or hold until the end of 2023.

As for food matches due to its complacency lamb seems to be calling it as well as beef. A few years ago in Paris I had a beautiful cut of beef in a peppercorn sauce and it’s softness and juiciness with perfectly prepared frites would welcome this wine. Avoid anything too spicy.

(Rèserve de la Roncière Cuvèe Traditionnelle 2018 Côtes du Rhône, AOP, SAS Lavau, Violés, France, $15.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 19333, 750 mL, 15%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 89/100).

You may recall that PP winked about several Panamanian bank accounts with a dodgy Panamanian bank. So why is he hosting a small party for several Panamanian generals wanting to invest in Canadian Arctic diamonds? How can this destitute man be renting a suite in an exclusive hotel in downtown Toronto to entertain what he has told me are interested investors. He says they know nothing about wine so a bottle with a 90 Suckling rating with a fancy label may be a bit of a ruse for the generalissimos that know nothing about wine as they drink rum! PP it would seem wants to climb out of the Madoff criminal proceedings that established his innocence but drained his funds and caused a sell-off in his wine cellar.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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