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  • Nick Skinner

B Sides Episode 5

François Villard & Luc Baudet Cotes Du Rhone 2018 “Rive Droite”. How many times is normal to re-wire your stereo during a quarantine? Follow up, how many bottles of wine does that translate to?



This weekend marked the 15th anniversary of The National’s “Alligator”; an album that changed the direction of indie music. While the first two albums, “The National” and “Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers”, that precede “Alligator” were met with positive reviews this album would propel them to the next level. The way this album plays out; it is one the most perfect track line ups, with ever song flowing perfectly into the next.

The thumping drums, the soulful vocals and unique guitar work that create a complete picture from a perfectly picked color palette. If you don’t have this album, I refer you to Jack Black in High Fidelity: “I can’t believe you don’t own this fucking record… That’s insane, Jesus.” So, go get a southern Rhone, Cote Du Rhone or otherwise, and put this record on. You won’t be disappointed.



Do you speak French? Because I don’t. Do you like mysteries? I do and this wine presented me with a few. The first was trying to figure out exactly where it comes from. Turns out the first clue is in French… which I don’t speak beyond vineyards and wine terms (probably a good time to start using DuoLingo again). After opening the wine and doing twenty minutes of research, I realized “Rive Droite” means right river. Thus, this wine is from the Cotes Du Rhone Village sub region of the Rhone Valley; not where the label states this is from which is simply Cote Du Rhone, a smaller and completely different area of Rhone; mostly on the left side of the rive. The mystery I could not solve is who is François Villard and/or Luc Baudet and what this project is. Another wine out of this Discovery Case that has little internet presence or information... weird.

Cote Du Rhone Village produces not only a great quantity of wines but wines of great quality. I generally find these wines to be super silky and lush but they can have great variation year to year. 2018 was a great year as a warmer September tempered by strong winds, or “The Mistral”, allowed grapes to get full ripeness.

The color is dark red bordering on purple. The nose out of the gate is slightly vaporous, an indicator of the warmer year and higher alcohol. Yet this 100% Grenache blooms into macerated strawberry, black cherry, black pepper, and a hint of that barn funk; funk me up, baby. The palate is that of sour cherry tart. The acid and higher alcohol tingle the tongue and the tannins are chewy. It is a pretty wine and has a third mystery: WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS HERB?! I drank the whole bottle. Still cannot figure out what this savory herb is… I guess I’m a bad detective… Guess I’ll never be batman which was totally a possibility before this moment.

Until next time, Cheers.

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