Ok, I'll jump in. These are from the past month or so:
2010 Charles Helfenbein Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes La Syrah.
Hey, it's Northern Rhone Syrah! And it's cheap!! This is a very nice drink-youngish wine with some of the hallmark attributes one seeks from this area: carnal meatiness, exotic floral aspects, and anise-infused Syrah fruit, rather like a good Saint-Joseph -- and this is no lightweight, as there is serious flavor intensity and very fine, silky tannins, kept fresh and airy by plentiful acidity. All that for $15. Yeah, it's ripe - bu t firms up with air, becoming more serious and interesting. Like Eric Texier, Helfenbein is based in Brézème, and this strikes me as good or better than any of Texier's basic Cotes-du-Rhones (excepting his CdR Brézème and Saint-Julien-en-Saint-Alban) - though maybe it's just the brilliant 2010 vintage speaking. Cheap, plastic cork. Drink this while you wait for your Gonons et al. to still not be ready yet.
2010 Charles Helfenbein Côtes du Rhône-Brézème
Excellent wine. This is darker, more backward, stern, and sinewy than Helfenbein's "La Syrah," with a fair amount of burnt-rubber reduction (?) that needs to blow off. When it does this shows real Northern Rhone terroir of leather and smoke, though it's still mostly in its shell with only reticent notes of blackish fruit and exotic spice poking through. Very well proportioned with lots of gras and firm tannins, in line with the vintage. This needs time but ought to reward patience; and at $20, all the more attractive.
2010 Benoit Roseau St. Joseph Cuvée Patagone
Good Saint-Joseph, with hallmark smoky, autumnal Northern-Rhone characteristics. It's medium bodied and not nearly as full (or immediately impressive) as other wines from the vintage that I have had, and there are plentiful, if very fine, tannins on the finish that dry out the fruit significantly. With air, though, more robust, anise-tinged dark red/purple fruit emerges, but still with the drying tannins. This is a good wine that, to me, is overpriced at $30. It may come around and be a very nice drink, but the top domaines outclass it and aren't so much more to afford.