Petit Chapeau 'Cotes du Rhone' Grenache 2010
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" At $14, the Domaine de Olivette was an excellent value. But our No. 2 wine, the Petit Chapeau Cotes du Rhone, was an even better one at $11. With an alcohol level of 14.5 percent, it was not shy. But it offered an usual amount of complexity at this price level, with smoky, herbal, earthy flavors to counter the fruit. " - NY Times
"Surprising complexity, with restrained flavors of smoky, earthy fruit and herbs". (A Daniel Johnnes Selection/Michael Skurnik Wines, Syosset, N.Y.)
ONCE upon a time you knew what you were getting when you opened a Cotes du Rhone. More than likely it would be a light-bodied red with flavors of spicy fruit and Provenual herbs. While these Cotes du Rhones of old might have varied from undistinguished to highly pleasing, you knew that you could order a carafe, a bottle, maybe even two, and expect a wine that would go down easily. Indeed, Cotes du Rhone became something of a synonym for blithe, gulpable bistro wines.
For better or sometimes for worse, those days are largely gone. On the plus side, the quality of grape-growing and winemaking in the Cotes du Rhone areas has greatly improved in the last 25 years. Rather than selling grapes to cooperatives, more growers are making their own wines, and making them seriously, with reduced yields and greater care. Far fewer Cotes du Rhones are thin and dilute, while far more are wines of character. " - NY Times
"Petit Chapeau ("Little Hat") is a value-driven brand created by Daniel Johnnes. With reliable, top-notch sources and excellent craftsmanship, these wines reflect their place of origin clearly and honestly, and offer consumers a terrific alternative to the ocean of over-manipulated, stripped, character-less value wines on the market.
The private label wines enable me to explore a fantasy of mine. They allow me to customize a wine either to my own desires and tastes, or to those of a client. They allow me to work with a winemaker and make a blend and a selection based on my taste that stretches beyond what I am offered." - Daniel Johnnes