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July Mixed Dozen 2021 - Rhone Rangers

July Mixed Dozen 2021 - Rhone Rangers - Prince Wine Store

July Mixed Dozen 2021 – Rhone Rangers

This month's mixed dozen takes us on an exploration of Rhone and Rhone-inspired wines. With the Rhone the spiritual home of grenache, syrah, and mourvedre along with viognier, marsanne, and roussanne, there is plenty to love about the wines of the region. But let's not forget that France isn't the only place that has excelled with these varietals.

Close to home in Aus we have happily adopted and adapted them to make them our own with some unique takes and modern upgrades to some of our old favourites.

We would of course be remiss to not include Spain in the line-up whose northern reaches produce some of the world's greatest grenache-based wines. Here, monastrell or mourvedre as it is known in France is held great revere too with this month even seeing a cheeky appearance from our friends in Italy and the Island of Sardinia.

I can't think of a better way to celebrate this winter with warm and spicy shiraz, plush and juicy grenache, rich textural whites, and all the deliciousness in between.

From France, we have the insane value Combe Pilate Viognier from superstar Michele Chapoutiere. Incredible value in a fresh and zingy viognier. Delas in the rhone have served up one of our favourite Rhones from the village of Ventoux – bright, crunchy, and packed with flavour. From the north we have Yann Chave represent with his Crozes-Hermitage, earthy, broody, and full of flavour. Everything you could want.

A little further south the Fremilant Rose is a juicy and plump Rose with a little extra something. From the great south west the Pour le Vin (get it!?) Syrah is pure, plush and crunhy 100% syrah perfect for pizza. Carignan is almost always a blending varietal in the Rhone & Spain but here it plays the starring role – spicy, racy and full of energy.

Spain has got some of the world's greatest grenache and the Issac Fernandez garnacha is a fantastic introduction to the style with its up-front juicy red fruit framed by fine rustic tannins and gentle old oak. The La Purisma you may have seen before, and it offers perfect winter drinking with monastrels earthy dark fruits and peppery nose.

While not as well known for grenache Italy’s canonnau from Sardinia is its own beast. Firey and firm like its Spanish counterpart but with a little more of an earthy edge. This is a great example and delicious to boot!

Close to home we have the Langmeil Three Gardens White which was a surprise hit at a recent tasting. Textural and bright with citrus, spice, and all things nice. Yeland & Papes have put out this awesome Vin de Soif, a grenache blend that is lifted, sweetly fruited and so delectable - we dare you to drink just one glass.

To finish we have Domaine Natrualist Discovery Syrah. It’s Aussie made but Rhone inspired with its black pepper nose, fine grained tannin and darkly fruited palate.

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  1. 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

  2. Isaac Fernandez Acentor Garnacha 2016
    Isaac Fernandez Acentor Garnacha 2016
    Isaac Fernández Selección is a unique collaborative venture between two individuals - Isaac Fernández Montaña one of Spain's most acclaimed winemakers and Aurelio Cabestrero. Working with old vine fruit and from some of the oldest DO's in Spain they are bringing together a wealth of experience. It's a shame this is the only wine coming into the country because it is a belter!

    Dark violet with spicey accented cherry and dark berry aromas. There is a touch of cola and vanilla  that sits nicely against the fresh dark fruit. Tons of energy and it seems to sizzle along in the mouth, offering sweet red and blue fruit and spicecake flavors. There is a bit of tannic grip and that touch of wild herbs that leads into a smokey finish where the tannins melt back into the sweet fruits. This is a great example of what a bit of thought and effort can bring to a wine that overdelivers in spades!
  3. Reine Juliette Carignan 2019
    Reine Juliette Carignan 2019
    The Domaine Reine Juliette sits along the southern side of the modern A9, which historically was the Via Domitia which connected Italy to Spain. Guillaume and his sister Marion inherited the estate from his parents in 1985, and they are now joined by his son in working the land. Together they are the 6th and 7th generations of Allies making wine at Reine Juliette.

    Harvested early (August) to keep some freshness and also because the summer was very dry and warm. 15 days cold maceration, malolactic fermentation, aged 6 months in concrete tanks. Very drinkable Carignan. The dark fruit character shows very well with silky tannins, touch of chopped herbs and pepperiness."
  4. La Purisima Estio Tinto Monastrell Blend 2019
    La Purisima Estio Tinto Monastrell Blend 2019

    La Purisima is a sort of 'post-modern' co-op, doing some really sensational 'estate-style' wines from holdings of very old, dry grown, original clone, ungrafted Monastrell. La Purisima is in the township of Yecla, which gives its name to the Denominacion de Origen, D.O. Yecla, about 1.5 hours inland, due west from Alicante. It's also very high up, with vineyards as high as 1100m above sea level. Summer heat is tempered by altitude, while winter is both extremely cold, and also quite dry (average rainfall is 12 inches per annum.) No irrigation.

    Low crop, high levels of vineyard vigilance, organic growing techniques, picked in the cooler hours of the day (mornings) and packed into small crates, begins a process of meticulous winemaking. The grapes then go through several selection passes, followed by 'must' chilling and fermentation in stainless steel.

    The original clones of Monastrell grown on their own roots from old bush vines, dry grown. This is a simple wine, but really good. Very varietal warm bitumen/dried fig/honey/black fruit Monastrell, given a bit of a juicy-jubey touch up from the Syrah in the blend. Very silky to the tongue with decent length and a nice sense of taper on the palate to a finish where the fruit tannins live. PWS

    monastrell, shiraz
  5. Yelland & Papps Vin de Soif 2017
    Yelland & Papps Vin de Soif 2017
    Around 70% grenache, 25% mataro, 5% carignan from multiple vineyards with an average age of 87yo. Wild yeast-open fermented with a portion of whole bunches with some time on skins and touch of older oak to round it out.

    Its lifted and pretty on the nose that follows into a pure, plump and juicy plum and berry fruits, with a touch of sour cherry bite and plenty of spicy on the close. Sits somewhere between light and medium bodied with lovely balance and plenty of freshness. Juicy and up-front deliciousness that keeps on giving. We dare you to have just one glass! PWS
    Carignan, Grenache, Mourvedre, shiraz
  6. Chateau Coupe Roses Fremillant Rose 2019
    Chateau Coupe Roses Fremillant Rose 2019
    40% Mourvedre, 30% Cinsault, 20% Grenache, 10% Syrah (Organic)
    Limpid peach skin. Nectarine, strawberry and a hint of honeydew melon on the highly perfumed nose. Juicy and seamless in texture, offering juicy red berry and pit fruit flavors that take on a suave floral accent as the wine opens up. Blends weight and finesse with a steady hand and finishes long and energetic, with repeating florality and lingering peachiness. This wine could pull double duty, paired with a wide range of foods or just for drinking by itself. JOSH RAYNOLDS
    Mourvedre, Rose
  7. 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
  8. Pala I Fiori Cannonau di Sardegna 2019
    Pala I Fiori Cannonau di Sardegna 2019
    The Pala team (lead by General Manager Fabio Angius) has recently acquired an additional 12 hectares of 20-year-old vines planted to Cannonau, Vermentino and Nuragus. The Serdiana area where Pala is located in southeast Sardinia is characterized by marl and limestone soils. The vines are in an amphitheater some 12 kilometers from the sea and the Gulf of Cagliari. Steady sea breezes are an important element of the local growing conditions. They are planted in bright, white sandy soils in the Terralba area on the western side of the island. The vineyard is surrounded by a wall of cacti and fichi d'India. The Wine Advocate

    If you have never had cannonau (grenache) from Sardinia then this the perfect introduction. The variety is perfect for the warm climate while the limestone and marl vineyards give this a tone if minerally energy that slices beautifully through the wild berry fruits. A little more savoury in style then either of its cousins in France or Australia which makes it a wholly unique varietal. PWS
  9. Langmeil Three Gardens Viognier Roussane Marsanne 2019
    Langmeil Three Gardens Viognier Roussane Marsanne 2019
    A classic blend of three of the noblest French Rhône white varieties - Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne. A fruity, rich and textural fusion bursting with stone fruit, grapefruit, honeysuckle fresh cut herb and a lemon curd zing. This is have lovely cut and nervy energy that sits beautifully within a fleshy and ripe frame. This is a real surprise and a perfect winter white with its textural body.

    In keeping with the old Barossa vignerons' name for their vineyards, the three 'Gardens' for this blend have been selected from the Lyndoch vineyard in the Southern Barossa Valley, the Marsanne from Gomersal on the Western Ridge and the Roussanne from the high rolling hills of Eden Valley. Each were picked relatively early then fermented separately at low temperatures to retain freshness. This was followed by five months' tank maturation on lees (a polite way of saying dead yeast) to build complexity and palate weight before blending and bottling.
    Marsanne, Roussane, Viognier
  10. Domaine Naturaliste Discovery Syrah 2019
    Domaine Naturaliste Discovery Syrah 2019
    Silver - International Wine Challenge London 

    Blueberry and purple fruit notes. A purple and fine elegant style with a lovely chocolate on the palate NICK ADAMS, MW

    We love the wines of Domaine Naturalist and Bruce Dukes is a man who walks to the beat of hist own drum. The vineyards sit in the cooler Wilyabrup GI and you can see this is in the Discovery syrah that presents with fresh cracked pepper and lifted spice over smokey and meaty, blue/black fruits. Plenty of punch in a medium bodied and fleshy number. This screams cool-climate style and we look forward to more like this from Bruce. PWS


Order Form

July Mixed Dozen 2021 – Rhone Rangers REG. PRICE SPECIAL ORDER TOTAL
Chapoutier La Combe Pilate Viognier 2017 $22.00 $22.00
Pour le Vin Faim de Loup Syrah 2019 $17.00 $17.00
Isaac Fernandez Acentor Garnacha 2016 $21.00 $21.00
Reine Juliette Carignan 2019 $24.00 $24.00
La Purisima Estio Tinto Monastrell Blend 2019 $20.00 $20.00
Yelland & Papps Vin de Soif 2017 $26.00 $26.00
Delas Cote du Rhone Ventoux 2018 $19.00 $19.00
Chateau Coupe Roses Fremillant Rose 2019 $29.00 $29.00
Yann Chave Crozes Hermitage 2018 $75.00 $75.00
Pala I Fiori Cannonau di Sardegna 2019 $26.00 $26.00
Langmeil Three Gardens Viognier Roussane Marsanne 2019 $24.00 $24.00
Domaine Naturaliste Discovery Syrah 2019 $24.00 $24.00
Amex and Diner incur 2% surcharge