E. Guigal Cote du Rhone Blanc, 2011 (approx $15) - The sole white in the tasting smelled of golden delicious apple, lemon zest and a hibiscus note to add a floral intrigue to the nose. On the palate, the citrus fruits, particularly line, brought a zesty freshness to the round and lush orchard. Medium bodied and noticeably acidic, this wine brought something interesting to each sip.
Delas Saint-Esprit Cote du Rhone, 2011 (approx $13) - Sometimes simple is good. Case in point: this easy, uncomplicated red. Bright strawberry and cherry were dominant right away, but a bit of white pepper gave it a spicy edge that kept it from being a total juice bomb. The body was on the lighter side but moderate acidity kept it in check. There was a ping of bing cherry on the finish, just for fun. This was very easy drinking and was light enough to be a good summer red (file that away!). Food need not apply.
Famille Perrin Cote du Rhone Village, 2010 (approx. $14) - This last red was a fun contrast to the Delas. Immediately, you could tell a difference in the fruit - tighter, small berried fruits, such as blackberry, were dominant on the nose, as opposed to the cheery cherries on the other. Earth and animal came through in a big way, along with some vegetal funkiness, and black pepper added a kick to the profile. On the palate, the tannins were much more prominent than in the Delas, as well as the acidity. There was almost a chewiness to the wine, but wasn't quite chewy as it was still a medium body rather than uber-full.