Unfortunately the Northern Rhone can also be a very "un-ocratic" region as wines can cost well over $100 per bottle. However, as with all regions, there are values to be found.
Luckily, there was one value wine in my 3 favorite wines of the evening.
-2009 Domaine Durand, Cornas, Empreintes Syrah: Delightful nose and palate of bright cherry with some herbal notes; Very dry, but fruit forward (compared with French, not Californian wines) - $35
-2009 Paul Jaboulet Aine, Cote Rotie, Syrah (w/Viognier): Gamey with hints of cherry and pepper; Classic Cote Rotie and one of my favorite flavor profiles - $135
I know that $35 is hardly a value wine for most people, but in the context of Northern Rhone red wine, any good wine under $40 can be considered a value. Moreover, you can find great Viognier from the Northern Rhone for well under $40. Like most white varietals, it's food friendly and pairs well with many different cuisines.
Northern Rhone wines tend to be very dry and acidic and are definitely not for everyone. Though if you're looking for a big, red wine to go with a hearty meal, you can't go wrong with a Northern Rhone red. It's the only way I go North in the winter!
Until the next sniff, sip or quaff.