2005 Joseph Phelps "Le Mistral" Monterey County Rhône Blend

SKU #1034267 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Phelps is one of the first of California’s wineries to experiment and develop a program for Rhone Valley varietals. They have moved the entire operation to their vineyards in Monterey County, and the 2005 Le Mistral is one of the best they have made over recent years. A blend of 59% Syrah and 23% Grenache, and the rest Carignan, Petit Syrah, and Alicante, it is a beauty. A delicious bistro and brasserie wine with loads of peppery black cherry and black currant fruit, the wine is expressive, soulful, and just delicious. (RP)  (12/2007)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (59% Syrah, 23% Grenache, 8% Carignan and 5% each Petit Verdot and Alicante) Bright ruby. Musky aromas of black fruits, dark chocolate and licorice. Spicy and exotic, with the brisk acidity of the vintage giving life and energy to the seamless palate. This, too, seems denser than the 2004 example I tasted last year. (ST)  (5/2007)

Connoisseurs Guide

 Quite ripe and showing as much dried grape desiccation and related chocolaty notes as it does energetic fruit in its outgoing, fairly spicy-tinged aromas, this wine is thick and soft in feel at entry yet picks up enough tannic grip and acidity to keep itself in reasonable balance.  (7/2007)

Wine Spectator

 Firm, tight and intense, with mineral and wild berry flavors that are in need of time in the bottle. While the tannins are tight, the flavors are complex. Syrah, Grenache, Carignane, Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouschet.  (10/2007)

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Price: $39.99
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Rhone Blends


United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Monterey/Carmel Valley

- These heavily planted regions on either side of the vast Salinas Valley account for much of the mass-produced, commercial wine sold in supermarkets nationwide. In the hills, however, and in sub-AVAs like Chalone and Santa Lucia Highlands, quality is much higher. Pinot noir and chardonnay look to be particularly promising.