Rhone wines remain a mystery to most American wine drinkers, and not just because they have very French names and are often difficult to find on store shelves. It ?s also because they ?re made with grapes that aren ?t cabernet sauvignon and merlot; for most of us, that difference is enough so we ?ll buy something else.
Case in point is the Deux Anges ($10, purchased, 13.5%). It ?s made with grenache, syrah, and carignan, and the name ? along with the almost Baroque-like angels on the label ? is enough to turn off any U.S. consumer who expects to see a cute animal or marketing-driven name.
The wine itself, like so much cheap wine from the Rhone, is a revelation. It ?s accessible, yet still tastes like the Rhone — juicy red fruit from the grenache, lots of peppery spiciness, noticeable tannins, and a bit of a finish. But it isn't too rough, which is often the case with this style of wine ? call it rustic, the kind of wine someone in a Van Gogh painting would drink. How often can you say that about California merlot?
It ?s a grilled meat or cheese kind of wine; highly recommended, and a candidate for the 2014 $10 Hall of Fame.