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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 Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2017 375ml
    Guigal Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2017 375ml
    Saturated ruby. Ripe black raspberry and cherry aromas are complicated by suggestions of cracked pepper, allspice and pungent flowers. Supple, appealingly sweet red and blue fruit preserve flavors gain energy with air, and a bright mineral element adds back-end lift. Supple tannins add shape to a persistent, floral-accented finish, which leaves cherry and spice notes behind. JOSH RAYNOLDS

    How Guigal year after year extracts such quality from such volume is astonishing. Famous for paying his growers well above market value for their grapes is probably the key. The fact that he treats this wine with every care and respect that her treats his upper eschelon wines is probably the other. Either way this is one of the most consistent wines to come out of France. PWS
    2017
    Rhone Blend
    France
    467
    Special Price $12.80 Regular Price $16.00
  2. 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
    Special Price $17.60 Regular Price $22.00
  3. Chapoutier La Combe Pilate Viognier 2017
    Chapoutier La Combe Pilate Viognier 2017

    The Chapoutiere range is huge and it is incredible to behold the quality across the board from this famous producer given the sheer amount of wine they make.

    This is off his families, mixed-use farm and sits outside the typical Condrieu framework both in style and place.

    There is an intriguing struck-flint, mineral note mixed with floral edges and fresh apricot. It's zippy an fresh with vibrant peach and apricot fruit to the fore. It lively and full of energy and raring to go. PWS

    2017
    Viognier
    France
    467
    Special Price $17.60 Regular Price $22.00
  4. Chapoutier Costiere de Nimes 2017
    Chapoutier Costiere de Nimes 2017
    Opens with crème de mure, wild forest fruits and summer raspberries. Plenty of mulled spices and wild herbs. The palate is full and ripe with a tangy hit of salty liquorice on the close. The tannins are soft and plush and provide a nice frame for the fruit to hang off. PWS

    A bold, rich and round expression of mixed berries with some wild herbs. Rich, fluid tannins. Smooth and approachable. JamesSuckling.com
    2017
    Rhone Blend
    France
    467
    $18.00
  5. Pierre Amadieu Cotes du Rhone Roulepierre 2019
    Pierre Amadieu Cotes du Rhone Roulepierre 2019
    It's been a while since we have tried the Pierre Amadieu wines and recent tasting made us question why we had for so long. A quality producer that makes a range of great northern and southern Rhone wines. There entry level CDR is a bit of a flagship and is such a joy to drink. PWS

    A 75-25 blend of Grenache and Syrah, the 2018 Cotes du Rhone Roulepierre is a fruit-forward offering with substantial weight for a "simple" Côtes du Rhône. Raspberries, cherries and garrigue come together on the charming nose, while silky tannins frame the palate and linger easily on the finish. ...It's a solid value. JOE CZWERWINSKI, eRobertParker.com
    2018
    Rhone Blend
    France
    467
    Special Price $18.40 Regular Price $23.00
  6. Jaboulet Parallele 45 Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2019
    Jaboulet Parallele 45 Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2019

    Since taking over Jaboulet in 2003 the Frey family have been moving towards organics and biodynamic viticulture - not always that easy in the temperate climes of the Northern Rhone, especially at volume - yet in 2017 they achieved their goal.

    To get there they have dramatically reduced yields - up to 60% less fruit per hectare now than when they took over.

    The wines across the board have improved dramatically in quality and their entry level Cotes du Rhone both red and white are no exception. These are amazing quality for the amount of wine made and the price. For $20 a bottle (in dozen) you will struggle to find wines as well put together and expressive of the Rhone.

    2019
    France
    467
    Special Price $20.00 Regular Price $25.00
  7. Guigal Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2017
    Guigal Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2017
    Saturated ruby. Ripe black raspberry and cherry aromas are complicated by suggestions of cracked pepper, allspice and pungent flowers. Supple, appealingly sweet red and blue fruit preserve flavors gain energy with air, and a bright mineral element adds back-end lift. Supple tannins add shape to a persistent, floral-accented finish, which leaves cherry and spice notes behind. JOSH RAYNOLDS
    2017
    Rhone Blend
    France
    467
    Special Price $25.00 Regular Price $28.00
  8. Ogier Le Temps Est Venu Cotes du Rhone 2019
    Ogier Le Temps Est Venu Cotes du Rhone 2019
    A blend of 60% Grenache, 35% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre, the 2019 Cotes du Rhone le Temps Est Venu is spruced from Plan de Dieu and Visan, both in the Southern Rhône. Aged in concrete, it offers attractive scents of garrigue, black cherries and dried spices on the nose, while in the mouth, it's full-bodied, round and generous. Gently framed by supple tannins and a touch of alcoholic warmth, it hints at cherries jubilee on the finish. JOE CZWERSKI, Robert Parker
    2019
    GSM
    France
    467
    Special Price $25.60 Regular Price $32.00
  9. Ogier Le Temps Est Venu Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2019
    Ogier Le Temps Est Venu Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2019
    There is a touch of exoticism to the aromatics that otherwise run towards orchard fruits, nectarine and peach, but it's that note of ginger flower and the little hint smoky minerality that keeps me coming back for another look. Ample weight and texture, not in any way overtly rich but there is the punch and depth you would expect from Rhone varieties. There is a crisp, green apple cut to the fruit which keeps its super fresh and bright. It's just so much fun to drink. I mean, you get all this upfront pleasure with the bold fruit but it shows remarkable clarity and energy for a wine at this level. I love it. I drank one to make sure but I was prepared this time and had a backup bottle which I drank the next night. *It's a money back guarantee here, if you like white wine and this doesn't work for you then we will refund you for the bottle. ROSCOE
    2019
    Marsanne, Roussane
    France
    467
    Special Price $26.40 Regular Price $33.00
  10. Domaine Font de Courtedune Cotes du Rhone Village 2019
    Domaine Font de Courtedune Cotes du Rhone Village 2019

    Co-owner Alex Wilcox has chosen this for his 2021 Staff Pick, here's why:

    I love Southern Rhone Reds when they have ripe Grenache yet are not heavy with alcohol or oak. This 2019 Font de Coutedune is the best yet! Dense and vibrant, it's concentrated Grenache with freshness. Perfect for summer drinking but will do well in the cellar. And it's great value. The secret to this wine is the old vines grown on sandy soils to the North of Chateauneuf du Pape and some great winemaking. ALEX WILCOX, PWS

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    Domaine Font de Courtedune – for now, at least – is something of an insider’s secret. With vineyards right next door to Château Rayas, and sharing the same sandy soils, this tiny Châteauneuf-du-Pape estate produces outstanding wines that are a fraction of the price of those of its famous neighbour.

    The vineyards have long been owned by the Charrier family, but the fruit was sold to the local co-operative until 1997, when René Charrier established the domaine. Today his children Caroline and Frédéric are in charge.

    Everything here is joyously traditional. The old vines (some of which are over 100 years old) are all farmed sustainably, with as little intervention as possible; a philosophy that follows through into the winery. Everything is whole-bunch, fermented and aged in concrete vats, with no oak to be found in the winery at all. They work almost exclusively with Grenache, with just a splash of Mourvèdre, Counoise, Cinsault and Terret Noir to add extra spice and body to the wines.

    This is heady and lifted with briary fruits that leap out of the glass followed by fresh cracked pepper corn, amaro spice and fresh orange peel. It's so enticing on the nose and a little air brings out a touch of wild herbs and soft vanilla. The fruits is sweet and with cool black and red fruits hemmed in nicely but fine powdery tannins. There is a touch of oppulence all round but it sits tightly in a neat and focused package.

    2016
    Grenache
    France
    467
    Special Price $28.80 Regular Price $36.00
  11. Charvin Cotes du Rhone Le Poutet 2019
    Charvin Cotes du Rhone Le Poutet 2019

    ‘(vat) steady, quite full red robe; the bouquet appeals, gives a soft red berry aroma, resembles strawberry jam with floral instincts. It’s stylish, especially given the context of the hot summer. The palate has an easy, supple tone, is lined with well-defined berry fruits, the tannins adding a little darkness and tang towards the finish. This has been very well made to achieve elegance, holds charming fruit, and has the structure to evolve kindly, aided by its clear, trim structure. JOHN LIVINGSTONE-LEARMONTH, The Cradle Of The Rhône

    Aromatically it’s pretty classic stuff here. Garrigue, super ripe berry notes and some heady perfume mixed in with some spice. Where it really ramps up a gear is the delivery of the suave, ripe, plush swirls of fruit that sit in the upper register of middle weight, teetering on the edge of rich, but pushes through to a clean and brighter than expected finish due to the fresh acidity and subtly grippy tannins. Lovely. No surprise there. ROSCOE

    2019
    Rhone Blend
    France
    467
    Special Price $38.00 Regular Price $45.00
  12. Ogier La Rosine Syrah 2017
    Ogier La Rosine Syrah 2017
    Deep violet. Assertive, spice-accented red and blue fruit aromas are complemented by building spice and floral accents. Juicy and seamless in texture, offering palate-caressing raspberry, mulberry and violet pastille flavors given a spicy edge by a jolt of cracked pepper. Smooth tannins lend gentle grip to a long, energetic finish that echoes the red fruit note. JOSH RAYNOLDS, Vinous
    2017
    shiraz
    France
    467
    Special Price $44.00 Regular Price $55.00
  13. Mont Redon Chateauneuf du Pape 2018 375ml
    Mont Redon Chateauneuf du Pape 2018 375ml
    Deep, shimmering ruby. Powerful red and dark berry scents are complemented by exotic spice, garrigue and floral nuances. Sappy and densely packed, offering juicy raspberry, cherry preserve, licorice and fruitcake flavors underscored by a vein of juicy acidity. Gently chewy tannins build steadily on an impressively long, penetrating finish that leaves behind lavender and juicy cherry notes. JOSH RAYNOLDS, Vinous
    2017
    Grenache
    France
    467
    Special Price $44.80 Regular Price $56.00
  14. Coursodon Vin de France Etincelle Blanc 2019
    Coursodon Vin de France Etincelle Blanc 2019
    Pale, green-tinged yellow. An array of lively citrus and orchard fruit aromas are lifted by a spicy white pepper nuance. Tangy and light on its feet, offering juicy Meyer lemon and green apple flavors that unfold slowly on the back half. Finishes taut and precise, with good persistence and a lingering touch of bitter citrus pith. JOSH RAYNOLDS, Vinous
    2019
    Marsanne
    France
    467
    Special Price $48.00 Regular Price $60.00
  15. Ogier La Rosine Syrah 2018
    Ogier La Rosine Syrah 2018
    Pungent blueberry, cherry, incense and a hint of cracked pepper on the fragrant nose. Appealingly sweet and broad in the mouth, showing good depth and clarity to the juicy, smoke-tinged black and blue fruit flavors. Reveals a building floral quality and lively, spicy lift on the long, subtly tannic finish, which leaves a hint of violet behind. JOSH RAYNOLDS, Vinous Media

    The 2018 La Rosine Syrah blends scents of licorice, tapenade, cola and plums on the nose, revealing substantial complexity. Medium to full-bodied, it shows excellent ripeness on the palate, silky tannins and ample length on the mouthwatering finish. It's a terrific introduction to Stéphane Ogier's range of Syrahs from the Northern Rhône. JOE CZERWINSKI, Robert Parker
    2018
    shiraz
    France
    467
    Special Price $48.00 Regular Price $60.00 As low as $39.00
  16. Mont Redon Gigondas 2017
    Mont Redon Gigondas 2017
    Mont Redon is the appellation's largest vineyard owner, with 100 hectares under vine. Most of the parcels are on red clay and galets roulés, with smaller portions on sandy or limestone terroirs. Starting with the 2016 vintage, there is a special cuvée called le Plateau (de Mont Redon), which comes exclusively from the galets. It sees more oak and a higher proportion of new oak, but because of the concentration in the 2016 and 2017 vintages, it's not especially noticeable. The wine is a step above the large-production cuvée tradition in quality, but it's yet to be released. It's in keeping with the winemaking philosophy espoused by Pierre Fabre, who told me, "Color for me isn't quality-linked, it's style-linked. Most important is complexity and length." These aren't big, extracted wines but wines that feel comfortable and balanced.

    This producer's first Gigondas is a terrific debut. The 2017 Gigondas Reserve Mont Redon-a blend of 85% Grenache, 9% Syrah and 6% Mourvèdre-comes from the lieux-dits of Pied Gu, Pallière and Notre Dame des Pallières and was aged in a mix of lightly used Burgundian pièces and tank. Perfumes include scents of violets, lavender, cherries and vanilla, while the full-bodied palate is lush and creamy, ending long, with hints of cracked pepper and salted licorice. JOE CZERWINSKI, eRobertParker.com
    2017
    Rhone Blend
    France
    467
    Special Price $49.60 Regular Price $62.00
  17. Guigal Cotes-du-Rhone Rouge 2017 1500ml
    Guigal Cotes-du-Rhone Rouge 2017 1500ml
    Saturated ruby. Ripe black raspberry and cherry aromas are complicated by suggestions of cracked pepper, allspice and pungent flowers. Supple, appealingly sweet red and blue fruit preserve flavors gain energy with air, and a bright mineral element adds back-end lift. Supple tannins add shape to a persistent, floral-accented finish, which leaves cherry and spice notes behind. JOSH RAYNOLDS, Vinous
    2017
    Rhone Blend
    France
    467
    Special Price $52.00 Regular Price $65.00
  18. Yann Chave Crozes Hermitage 2018
    Yann Chave Crozes Hermitage 2018
    Lurid violet. High-pitched red and blue fruit, floral and spice aromas show excellent clarity and pick up a hint of licorice with air. Palate-coating cherry, black raspberry and boysenberry flavors slowly firm up on the back half. Closes on a subtle tannic note, showing real dark-fruit-driven intensity and a resonating floral note. I can't recall ever having a better "basic" Crozes from Chave than this one. JOSH RAYNOLDS
    2018
    shiraz
    France
    467
    Special Price $60.00 Regular Price $75.00
  19. Beaucastel Coudoulet Cotes du Rhone 2017
    Beaucastel Coudoulet Cotes du Rhone 2017
    Tasted as a representative sample that was blended from several foudres, the 2017 Cotes du Rhone Coudoulet de Beaucastel looks to be another sensational example of this wine. Sourced just outside the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation, it's full-bodied yet silky and long, with standout aromas of lavender and crushed stone backed by layers of cherry and berry fruit. Let's hope the prices don't escalate too much given the vintage's low yields. WINE ADVOCATE

    The 2017 Côtes Du Rhône Coudoulet De Beaucastel is a textbook example of this cuvée, and while it tends to be a relatively expensive Côtes Du Rhône, it merits the price. Complex garrigue, ground pepper, and earthy dark fruits all flow to a medium to full-bodied wine that has a polished, elegant texture as well as the sunny, Provençal style of the vintage. It's capable of lasting for 15 years or more. JEB DUNNUCK
    2017
    Rhone Blend
    France
    467
    Special Price $61.60 Regular Price $77.00
  20. Andre Perret Saint Joseph Rouge 2018
    Andre Perret Saint Joseph Rouge 2018
    Assertively perfumed dark berry, cherry and licorice aromas are sharpened by black pepper and mineral flourishes. Silky, energetic blueberry and bitter cherry flavors turn sweeter in the glass and pick up a smoky flourish on the back half. Firms up steadily with air and finishes spicy and quite long, displaying even tannins and a resonating blackberry quality. JOSH RAYNOLDS, vinous.com
    2018
    shiraz
    France
    467
    Special Price $64.00 Regular Price $80.00
  21. Remejeanne Un Air de Cotes du Rhone 2020 1500ml
    Remejeanne Un Air de Cotes du Rhone 2020 1500ml
    A 50/50 blend of grenache and syrah that sets off running with spice- and mineral-accented aromas, bright red fruits with wild cranberry and black currant. There is candied red fruits and cherry, with wafts of savoury smoke that give way to violet, floral overtones. There is some lovely energy and this feels pure and unadulterated. A long and gentle close with the lightest touch of tannin. PWS
    2020
    Rhone Blend
    France
    467
    Special Price $64.80 Regular Price $81.00
  22. Jean Louis Chave Selection St Joseph Rouge Offerus 2017
    Jean Louis Chave Selection St Joseph Rouge Offerus 2017
    Opaque magenta. Mineral- and spice-accented dark berry and cherry aromas are complemented by a smoky nuance that builds with air. Concentrated blackberry and bitter cherry flavors show very good depth and take a sweeter turn on the back half. Finishes emphatically spicy and quite long, with supple, well-knit tannins lending shape to clinging cherry and floral pastille notes. Drinking window: 2023 - 2032 JOSH RAYNOLDS, Vinous.com
    2017
    shiraz
    France
    467
    Special Price $65.60 Regular Price $82.00
  23. 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
    Special Price $65.60 Regular Price $82.00
  24. Jean Louis Chave Selection St Joseph Circa Blanc 2018
    Jean Louis Chave Selection St Joseph Circa Blanc 2018
    Pale yellow. Powerful peach nectar, orange, honey and chamomile aromas show sharp definition and lift thanks to a smoky mineral flourish. Supple, silky and broad on the palate, offering ripe orchard and pit fruit flavors and a touch of sweet butter. The mineral quality repeats emphatically on the impressively long, seamless finish, which leaves behind a juicy Anjou pear note JOSH RAYNOLDS, Vinous.com
    2018
    Marsanne
    France
    467
    Special Price $65.60 Regular Price $82.00
  25. Sylvain Gauthier Domaine des Pierres Seches St Joseph 2016
    Sylvain Gauthier Domaine des Pierres Seches St Joseph 2016
    Lurid ruby. Dark berries, potpourri, peppery spices and a hint of olive on the highly perfumed nose. Juicy, penetrating and sweet, offering intense blackberry and cherry liqueur flavors and a smoky mineral nuance that gains strength with air. Supple tannins give shape to an impressively persistent, mineral-laced finish that strongly repeats the dark berry and spice notes. JOSH RAYNOLDS
    2014
    shiraz
    France
    467
    Special Price $67.20 Regular Price $84.00
  26. Domaine Font de Courtedune Chateauneuf du Pape 2018
    Domaine Font de Courtedune Chateauneuf du Pape 2018

    With scents of cherries and licorice, the nose of the 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape sparks a pleasant flashback to Rhône wines of yore. In the mouth, it's medium-bodied and silky, a bit less generous than expected, being tight and focused, with a crisp but lingering finish. JOE CZERWINSKI, wineadvocate.com

    Almost all Grenache (there's 1% Mourvèdre) that was not destemmed and was brought up all in concrete, the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape offers an old school nose of smoked red and black fruits, sappy garrigue, black pepper, and gamey nuances. The stems are front and center yet are balanced beautifully by pure fruit, and the wine is medium to full-bodied and balanced, with a bright spine of acidity, and a great finish. It's going to be even better with 2-3 years of bottle age and cruise for a decade. Lovers of stemmy, old school, yet clean and impeccably made Châteauneuf will love this.  JEB DUNNUCK, jebdunnuck.com

    2016
    Grenache
    France
    467
    Special Price $71.20 Regular Price $89.00
  27. Pierre Gaillard St Joseph Clos de Cuminaille 2018
    Pierre Gaillard St Joseph Clos de Cuminaille 2018
    Brilliant violet. Lively cherry and mulberry scents are complemented by suggestions of cracked pepper, violet and olive. Smooth and gently sweet, offering spice-tinged black and blue fruit and floral pastille flavors that firm up on the back half. A smoky mineral note appears on the clinging finish, which is given shape by supple, even tannins. JOSH RAYNOLDS, Vinous

    The 2018 Saint Joseph Clos de Cuminaille had been blended but then put back into barrel, so I tasted from two barrels of different ages. The new one showed vanilla accents, but both highlighted ripe cherries, a medium to full-bodied palate, silky tannins and a long, fine finish. JOE CZERWINSKI, The Wine Advocate
    2018
    shiraz
    France
    467
    Special Price $74.40 Regular Price $93.00
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