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Rhone Valley

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Rhone valley



Northern Rhone
The Rhone Valley is kept in check by a sweeping Mistral wind that is tunnelled from the north of Rhone to the open and flatter southern Rhone. The Rhone river runs through the valley dividing the schist and granite soils.

The Northern Rhone is a difficult place to grow grapes, the slopes are steep to work and costly. Most of the wines grown are premium styles and its production is tiny when compared to Southern Rhone. Syrah hits new heights here in the form of spicy delights.

Red or White? Mainly red with a small amount of white made. And there is a blend where red and white is co-fermented together in Cote Rotie. Syrah with a splash of viognier - a rarity!
 
Grapes
White: Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne
Red: Syrah

Styles
This is spicy syrah land - black olives, smoked meats, cooking spices and heady florals are common tasting descriptors. And the tannins can be firm and fine in youth, becoming slender with age. The whites are richer and fleshy, viognier is the queen of hedonism.

Favourite Producers
Guigal, Coursodon, Pierre Gonon, JL Chave, Bernard Faurie, Balthazar, Stephane Ogier

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Southern Rhone
Grenache reigns supreme in the south, although it is commonly blended with Mourvedre and syrah.   Planted throughout the region, Grenache loves the warmth and sunny exposition made available to it in southern Rhone. Look out for the galette pebbles found in Chateauneuf du Pape - these heat up during the day and the extra warmth overnight continues to ripen the grapes on the old bush vines.

From rosé to affordable weekday pizza wines (Cotes du Rhone blends) through to ageable beauties like Chateauneuf du Pape, Grenache is a chameleon of grapes centred around vibrant red fruits and slippery tannins.

Red or white? Red and a little rose. There's also a small amount of a fortified white called Muscat de Beaume de Venise

Grapes
White: Muscat a Petits Grains
Red: Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah

Styles
Cotes du Rhone are the cheerful wines you want to reach for mid-week. Their fleshy and fruit nature make them deliciously enjoyable and they won't burn a hole in your pocket. The pinnacle of Grenache is reached in Chateauneuf du Pape wines. These have built-in structure and can age gracefully for many years. Look out for Village or Cru wines such as  Vinsobres, Vaquerays, Gigondas as these are a happy medium between the bookend styles.

Favourite Producers
Font du Courtedune, Rayas, Beaucastel, Chateau de Fonsalette, Marcoux, Mont Redon

 


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  1. Guigal Cote Rotie La Turque 2013
    Guigal Cote Rotie La Turque 2013

    According to the Guigal's, the 2013 Cote Rotie La Turque has a similar level of dry extract to the 2010 (after that, the 2012, followed by the 2011). Inky purple in color, with masculine notes of crushed rock, cracked pepper, bacon fat, scorched earth and concentrated dark fruits, it has a stacked mid-palate, but is certainly holding things closer to the vest than either the 2011 or 2012. It has a classic style and I suspect will require a decade of cellaring to become approachable. (98) JEB DUNNUCK

    2013
    shiraz
    France
    467
  2. Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf du Pape 2017
    Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf du Pape 2017
    Full shimmering ruby. A complex, highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe boysenberry, Chambord and Asian spices, and a sexy floral nuance gains strength with air. Sweet and seamless on the palate, displaying a suave blend of power and delicacy to the concentrated red and blue fruit, lavender pastille and spicecake flavors. Shows impressive energy and a mineral quality on the gently tannic, penetrating finish, which hangs on with strong, floral-driven tenacity. JOSH RAYNOLDS

    Immediately a sense of darker fruit in this vintage. The nose has closed up a little since tasting in barrel. It has some reserved, sanguine notes and an essence-like raspberry core. Some stones and chalk here, too. Very long and focused palate. The grenache is singing here. Dense but soft and supple tannins, the product of thick, healthy skins. Best from 2025. JAMES SUCKLING

    2017
    Rhone Blend
    France
    467
  3. Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape 2017
    Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape 2017
    A tremendous effort, might Beaucastel's 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape outshine even the 2016? I tasted a preliminary blend that Marc Perrin said represented 80% of the wine, and it showed ridiculous floral and fresh aromas of licorice, lavender and spice, all backed by tremendous fruit that went beyond black and red and into hints of exotic stone fruit. The final blend will likely contain more than 10% Counoise, the highest proportion ever utilized at the estate. It's rich and concentrated yet silky and lithe, with a fantastically long, elegant finish. (97) WINE SPECTATOR

    Dark bright-rimmed ruby. Ripe black and blue fruit liqueur, incense, smoked meat and candied lavender qualities on the deeply perfumed, spice-accented nose. Broad and fleshy in the mouth, offering intense black raspberry, bitter cherry and fruitcake flavors that tighten up and turn livelier with air. Shows plenty of energy for a hot-vintage wine and finishes impressively long and chewy, with mounting tannins and repeating smoke and floral notes. JOSH RAYNOLDS

    2017
    Rhone Blend
    France
    467
  4. Guigal Cote Rotie La Turque 2016
    Guigal Cote Rotie La Turque 2016
    Inky magenta. Candied cherry, blackcurrant, exotic spices, violet oil and a hint of olive on the powerfully scented nose. Velvety, seamless and alluringly sweet, offering palate-staining, mineral-laced black/blue fruit preserve, floral pastille, smoky bacon and spicecake flavors that open up steadily on the back half. Displays sharp delineation and a resonating floral note on a strikingly long finish that's framed by plush, rounded tannins. (97) JOSH RAYNOLDS

    The 2016 Cote Rôtie Lads Turque is another amazing wine. This early in its élévage, it’s showing hints of vanilla and pencil shavings, but those underscore sexy, seductive notes of raspberries and spice, then add darker notes of grilled beef and espresso. This silky, immensely attractive wine could challenge the potentially perfect 2015 in another year or two. (97 -99) JOE CZERWINSKI
    2016
    shiraz
    France
    467
  5. Coursodon St Joseph Silice Blanc 2019
    Coursodon St Joseph Silice Blanc 2019
    Translucent yellow. Vibrant, mineral-accented citrus and orchard fruit aromas are complemented by suggestions of fennel and jasmine. Juicy and focused on the palate, offering concentrated pear, tangerine and anise flavors that pick up a nervy mineral flourish with air. Densely packed yet lively in style, delivering strong closing thrust and lingering floral and bitter pear skin notes. All stainless steel. JOSH RAYNOLDS, Vinous
    2019
    Marsanne
    France
    467
  6. Coursodon St Joseph Sensonne 2018
    Coursodon St Joseph Sensonne 2018

    Saturated ruby. Heady, oak-spiced dark berry, cherry cola and floral pastille scents show outstanding clarity and pick up a smoky mineral nuance with air. Juicy and penetrating on the palate, offering intense bitter cherry, blueberry and mocha flavors that are given spine and lift by a core of juicy acidity. Finishes sweet, broad and extremely long, with an echo of candied violet and smooth, well-knit tannins. 100% new oak. JOSH RAYNOLDS, Vinous

    2018
    shiraz
    France
    467
  7. Rive Droite Rive Gauche Cotes du Rhone 2020
    Rive Droite Rive Gauche Cotes du Rhone 2020
    Rive Droite Rive Gauche simply means right bank, left bank and the name derives from fruit for the wine being sourced from both sides of the river - the grenache coming mainly from the left (gauche) and the Syrah from the village of Daumazan (on the rive droite), near Tavel. It is also a French film starring the rotund wine-nut actor Gerard Depardieu - fun fact!

    This is a lovely fresh and crunchy styled Rhone from our friends at Rive Droite. There is touch of thyme and bay over red spiced fruits, layered with a little bit of red liquorice. This is a medium bodied rendition with a pure core of raspberry, wild strawberry and splash of black berry fruit in the mix. Its lithe with a lovely fresh cut to the sweet fruits that makes this look wonderfully elegant and damn easy to like.

    2020
    Grenache, shiraz
    France
    467
  8. Marcoux Chateauneuf du Pape 2019
    Marcoux Chateauneuf du Pape 2019
    The 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape showed beautifully, with a deeper ruby/purple color as well as incredible Provençal notes of peppery garrigue, dried flowers, and jammy red and black berry fruits. Playing in the medium to full-bodied end of the spectrum, it has a great mid-palate, loads of building tannins, a solid spine of acidity, and a big finish. This is one smoking good, classic cuvée that savvy readers should snatch up. It will have 10-15 years of prime drinking. JEB DUNNUCK
    2019
    Rhone Blend
    France
    467
  9. Yann Chave Crozes Hermitage Le Rouvre 2020
    Yann Chave Crozes Hermitage Le Rouvre 2020
    There's a pleasant little blackcurrant jam note on the nose here. Lightly spiced, medium-bodied, juicy and with very fine tannins, there's a lovely sense of elegance in the wine, with very good acidity. Not as powerful as his cuvée classique, but a greater sense of finesse, balance and drinkability. Long finish. MATT WALLS, decanter.com

    The bouquet brims with bright cassis fruit clad for now in smoky oak. The fruit pleases via a lingering coulis-style sweetness. The palate bears rolling richness, a fluid tone to the content, black berry fruits on display, the tannins ripe, layered. This holds good, proven fruit, its clear tenor appealing. From 2023, decant it. 2030-32 July 2021. JONATHON LIVINGSTONE-LEARMONTH, drinkrhone.com
    2020
    shiraz
    France
    467
  10. Ogier La Rosine Syrah 2019
    Ogier La Rosine Syrah 2019

    Vibrant red and dark berry aromas show fine definition and complementary suggestions of peony, white pepper and olive. Juicy and appealingly sweet, offering Chambord, black raspberry and spicecake flavors that slowly deepen through the midpalate. Smooth tannins frame a long, lively, floral-tinged finish that echoes the spice and red fruit notes. There are qualities here that remind me a lot of a ripe New World Pinot Noir. JOSH RAYNOLDS, Vinous

    The 2019 Collines Rhodaniennes La Rosine is another pretty, seamless wine from Ogier, offering classic Northern Rhone black raspberry like fruit as well as some chalky minerality and spice. Medium-bodied, it has fine tannins, and nicely integrated acidity. JEB DUNNUCK

    2019
    shiraz
    France
    467
    Special Price $62.00 Regular Price $72.00 As low as $55.00
  11. Coursodon St Joseph L'Olivaie 2020
    Coursodon St Joseph L'Olivaie 2020

    The 2020 Saint Joseph L'Olivaie comes from a parcel of 60-year-old vines. It's a winner, offering a rocking array of black and blue fruits, crushed stone, pepper, and flowers as well as medium to full-bodied richness on the palate. With plenty of mid-palate depth, ripe yet present tannins, and a great finish, it will give a top Hermitage a run for its money. JEB DUNNUCK

    The medium to full-bodied 2020 Saint Joseph l'Olivaie, tasted out of barrel-the final blend will be roughly 50% from pièces de Bourgogne and 50% from demi-muids-showed an enthralling blend of raspberries and olives, a sexy, silky mouthfeel and great length and freshness on the finish. WINE ADVOCATE

    2018
    shiraz
    France
    467
  12. Domaine Font de Courtedune Chateauneuf du Pape 2019
    Domaine Font de Courtedune Chateauneuf du Pape 2019

    Lots of ripe black cherries, leather, candied violets, and peppery herb notes emerge from the 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape, which is almost all Grenache (99%) that was brought up all in concrete tanks. Beautifully textured, medium to full-bodied, and nicely structured, it has some of the vintage's savory, firm tannins, but this is beautifully done and will benefit from a year or two of bottle age and keep for over a decade.JEB DUNNUCK

    A tank-aged Grenache selection from sandy sites, the 2019 Chateauneuf du Pape features pretty lavender and garrigue shadings, plus raspberries, cherries and hints of stone fruit. It's full-bodied, concentrated and tannic but ripe and should come good in time. JOE CZERWINSKI, Wine Advocate

     

    2019
    Grenache
    France
    467
  13. Gilles Robin Crozes-Hermitage “Papillon” 2020
    Gilles Robin Crozes-Hermitage “Papillon” 2020
    STAGE 13 -  FLAT - LE BOURG D'OISANS > SAINT-ÉTIENNE 193 KM

    The Robin family have grown grapes in Crozes-Hermitage for four generations, the first vineyard a 1.27 ha plot acquired by Gilles' great-grandfather Louis Pasquion in 1920. But until 1995 the production was substantially sold to the local cooperative in Tain l'Hermitage. When Gilles took over from his father Michel in 1996 however, he set the estate on a new course, bottling his first wines under the Gilles Robin label. More than 25 vintages later he is widely regarded as one of the top producers of the region.

    100% Syrah from vines planted in 1996, 100% de-stemmed and fermented in stainless steel tanks. An early drinking style driven by perfumed black raspberry fruit with anise and spice notes lingering long on the fresh and vibrant finish. The violet lilt and pristine fruit standout here with nothing encumbered by oak and no need to flash this up given the quality here. A medium bodied Syrah, that is great all year round.
    2020
    shiraz
    France
    467
  14. Yann Chave Hermitage 2020
    Yann Chave Hermitage 2020
    Introverted on the nose, but smooth and bold on the palate. A little more generosity and weight than some Hermitage this year, also slightly higher alcohol. Harmonious, with good acidity and integrated oak, it is detailed and defined on the palate. A large-framed but calm and collected wine with a good sense of purity and typicity, this is a serious Hermitage. Vines of nearly 50 years of age, grown organically on lieux-dits Beaumes and Péléat, matured in demi-muids with malolactic fermentation in barrel. (97) MATT WALLS, decanter.com

    The bouquet mixes depth with shape, has a curve of black berry fruits, neat sweetness, a slightly floral persistence, a hint of licorice. It's a stylish opening. The palate is aromatic, offers well-toned soft black fruits, pleases on its suave, flowing progress, is elegant, and nourishing, all in a good tempo. It's a much more refined wine than the 2019, the balance good, the length trim and fresh, a little dab of mineral-powder on the close. From mid-2023, decant it. JONATHON LIVINGSTONE-LEARMONTH, drinkrhone.com
    2020
    shiraz
    France
    467
  15. Charvin Cotes du Rhone Le Poutet 2020
    Charvin Cotes du Rhone Le Poutet 2020
    The nose carries a light essence of cooked plum fruit, strawberry jam, pepper, peony. It’s wide, will emerge and evolve well. The palate is close-knit, herbal-peppery, lined with red cherry, brisk fruits, cut in the tannins that still stand a little on the outside. Its frame is a bit skeletal, can amplify. There is rocky powder emphasis on the close, the length good. I like its gradual upping of the tempo, depth. It has interest, hidden corners, is not an open book. “It’s very fresh, always had foundation. 2019 is powerful, but 2020 bears jolis fruits, has true class, an identity,” Laurent Charvin. JOHN LIVINGSTON-LEARMONTH, drinkrhone.com,

    A bold and expressive Cotes-du-Rhone with excellent wild blackberry fruit plus notes of meat and licorice. A big and well-structured wine that gets a real kick at the finish from the crunchy freshness. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold. STUART PIGGOT, James Suckling
    2020
    Rhone Blend
    France
    467
  16. Delas Cote du Rhone Ventoux 2020 375ml
    Delas Cote du Rhone Ventoux 2020 375ml
    Under the same ownership as Champagne Roederer for a couple of decades now, Delas Frères recently opened a new winery and enotourism facility in Tain l'Hermitage. It's a brilliant, modern facility that should be on the list of things to visit when in town. Winemaking is in the capable hands of Jacques Grange and Claire Darnaud. ROBERT PARKER

    Ventoux is the name of the Village and only a select number of high-quality villages are allowed to put their name on the label. This is a bit of a hit from Delas and offers a more light and pretty version when compared to the CDR bottling. Nice purity stuffed with plenty of crunchy red fruits, think cranberry, raspberry and strawberry. There are flecks of ground pepper and vanilla spice in a lithe and lifted package. Another great release.
    2020
    GSM, shiraz
    France
    467
  17. Charvin Cotes du Rhone Le Poutet 2020 1500mL
    Charvin Cotes du Rhone Le Poutet 2020 1500mL
    3 BOTTLES AVAILABLE

    The nose carries a light essence of cooked plum fruit, strawberry jam, pepper, peony. It’s wide, will emerge and evolve well. The palate is close-knit, herbal-peppery, lined with red cherry, brisk fruits, cut in the tannins that still stand a little on the outside. Its frame is a bit skeletal, can amplify. There is rocky powder emphasis on the close, the length good. I like its gradual upping of the tempo, depth. It has interest, hidden corners, is not an open book. “It’s very fresh, always had foundation. 2019 is powerful, but 2020 bears jolis fruits, has true class, an identity,” Laurent Charvin. JOHN LIVINGSTON-LEARMONTH, drinkrhone.com,
    2020
    Rhone Blend
    France
    467
  18. Guigal St Joseph Vignes de l'Hospice 2019
    Guigal St Joseph Vignes de l'Hospice 2019
    Perennially among the best bottlings from the appellation, the 2019 Saint-Joseph Vignes de l'Hospice looks set to rival the tremendous effort bottled in 2015. Enticing scents of crushed stone, pencil shavings and cassis appear on the nose (it ages in 100% new oak), and while this full-bodied wine packs plenty of power, it also shows characteristic granite-derived restraint, delivering a tense balance between ripeness and structure. It should be a beauty, but give it time, as the tannins are prominent at this early stage of its evolution. JOE CZERWINSKI
    2019
    shiraz
    France
    467
  19. Remejeanne Un Air de Cotes du Rhone 2021 1500ml
    Remejeanne Un Air de Cotes du Rhone 2021 1500ml
    No one… ever paid much attention to the wines of the out-of-the-way village of Sabran - until a careful, thoughtful winemaker like Rémy Klein came along." ANDREW JEFFORD, The New France

    Proprietor Rémy Klein is one of the most consistently top-flight winemakers among the Côtes du Rhone producers. ROBERT PARKER

    Full of bright red fruits, just picked raspberry and crushed cherry intermingled with a bouquet garny of lavender, sage, thyme and a top-not of violet that adds a little bit of prettiness to the nose. Lovingly crafted in a pure elegant style with lots of nascent energy at its core that gives it some wonderful vitality. Supple with perfectly ripe fruits and sweet caress of fine tannin.
    2020
    Rhone Blend
    France
    467
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