Rhône, France, WINE

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The Rhône Valley is really comprised of two very different regions, in terms of weather, topography, and viticulture. The variable climate and gentle rolling hillsides in Southern Rhône make it one of the world's great regions for the art of blending, with 13 distinct varietals (red and white) permissible in the vineyards and wines. Grenache is the workhorse grape of the region, while Syrah, Mourvédre, Cinsault, and Carignan round out most blend compositions in one proportion or another.

The earthy, soulful, sometimes decadent wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape are the unrivaled champions of the Southern Rhône, but numerous neighboring villages are exerting themselves based on their individuality and terroir. The communes of Gigondas, Lirac, and Vacqueyras often produce bold, meaty, spicy wines, enough to warrant their own respective AOC designations. Other villages currently ensconced within the overall Côtes-du-Rhône Villages AOC include Vinsobres, Séguret, Sablet, and Cairanne, and we should not be surprised to see one or more of these villages awarded AOC status in the coming years, such is the quality and individuality of the wines being produced here.

The Northern Rhône is quite a different story, with steep vineyards and hot micro-climates making it ideal for mono-varietal wines. Syrah is the red grape of both legal and viticultural preference, and it achieves varying expressions depending on where the vines are located. The majority of vine-growing occurs on the west bank of the Rhône river. St-Joseph is the largest AOC in the region, and the resulting quality is, of course, very mixed depending largely on the standards of the specific producer. Côte-Rôtie and Hermitage are the king and queen of Syrah, the former producing dark, brooding, masculine wines of depth and structure, the latter being famous for its complex, ethereal aromatics and refined texture and longevity. Cornas is the more rustic cousin to Rôtie and Hermitage, but quality is on the rise, year after year. The Northern Rhône's lone white grape is Viognier, and Condrieu is its ancestral home and considered the apex of its expression worldwide. Viognier also serves as a very small percentage of blends with Syrah, typically in the Crozes-Hermitage AOC. France's most ancient winemaking region has a lot going for it, and the future looks as bright as the past.

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94 points Jeb Dunnuck: Coming from an old vine selection and a smaller production release for the US market, the 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes tastes like the classic cuvée, only on steroids. Kirsch, loads of black and blue fruits, flowers and lavender notes all emerge from this full… ...
JD 94
WA 94
WS 93
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Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2015  (#330506)

Rhone Blends - Red from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhône, Rhône, France

[ 94 points Jeb Dunnuck: Coming from an old vine selection and a smaller production release for the US market, the 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes tastes like the classic cuvée, only on steroids. Kirsch, loads of black and blue fruits, flowers and lavender notes all emerge from this full-bodied 2015 that has fine, fine tannin, solid mid-palate depth and a great finish. It certainly offers pleasure today, yet will keep for 10-15 years. (10/19/17) ] 94 points Jeb Dunnuck: Coming from an old vine selection and a smaller production release for the US market, the 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes tastes like the classic cuvée, only on steroids. Kirsch, loads of black and blue fruits, flowers…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 6 available
JD 94
WA 94
WS 93
91 points Josh Raynolds (Vinous): Lurid ruby. Ripe cherries and red berry liqueur on the deeply perfumed, spice-tinged nose. Shows impressive power and breadth on the palate, offering rich black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors complicated by hints of lavender and peppery spices. The smooth,… ...
V 91
JS 91
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Chave/J.L. Selection Cotes-du-Rhone Mon Coeur 2016  (#332523)

Rhone Blends - Red from Côtes du Rhône, Southern Rhône, Rhône, France

[ 91 points Josh Raynolds (Vinous): Lurid ruby. Ripe cherries and red berry liqueur on the deeply perfumed, spice-tinged nose. Shows impressive power and breadth on the palate, offering rich black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors complicated by hints of lavender and peppery spices. The smooth, gently tannic finish delivers solid punch and repeating red berry and floral notes. Drink: 2020-2026. (Apr 2018) ] 91 points Josh Raynolds (Vinous): Lurid ruby. Ripe cherries and red berry liqueur on the deeply perfumed, spice-tinged nose. Shows impressive power and breadth on the palate, offering rich black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors complicated by…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$16.95
$25.00
Save $8.05 (32%)25.00
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99 points Jeb Dunnuck: As with the 2017, the 2016 Gigondas Clos des Tourelles comes from vines inside the village. It's noticeably deeper in color than the La Gille and gives up a huge bouquet of blueberries, violets, smoked duck, and crushed rocks. Deep, full-bodied, concentrated, and multi… ...
JD 99
WA 97
V 92-94
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Famille Perrin Gigondas Domaine du Clos des Tourelles 2016  (#702172)

Grenache/Garnacha from Gigondas, Southern Rhône, Rhône, France

[ 99 points Jeb Dunnuck: As with the 2017, the 2016 Gigondas Clos des Tourelles comes from vines inside the village. It's noticeably deeper in color than the La Gille and gives up a huge bouquet of blueberries, violets, smoked duck, and crushed rocks. Deep, full-bodied, concentrated, and multi-dimensional, it has building tannin and a huge finish. It needs time, but wow, what a wine. Hats off to the Perrin family for this utterly sensational wine. (08/2018) ] 99 points Jeb Dunnuck: As with the 2017, the 2016 Gigondas Clos des Tourelles comes from vines inside the village. It's noticeably deeper in color than the La Gille and gives up a huge bouquet of blueberries, violets, smoked duck, and crushed rocks.…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JD 99
WA 97
V 92-94
99 points Jeb Dunnuck: One of the gems in the vintage is the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes, and it’s about as beautiful an example of old vine Grenache as I could imagine. Sporting a deep purple color as well as a huge perfume of blackberries, black raspberries, garrigue, crushed flowers,… ...
JD 99
WA 95
V 95
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Cristia Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2016  (#333147)

Grenache/Garnacha from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhône, Rhône, France

[ 99 points Jeb Dunnuck: One of the gems in the vintage is the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes, and it’s about as beautiful an example of old vine Grenache as I could imagine. Sporting a deep purple color as well as a huge perfume of blackberries, black raspberries, garrigue, crushed flowers, and exotic spices, it hits the palate with a wealth of fruit, a stacked mid-palate, awesome purity of fruit, and a finish that won’t quit. Made from 100% old vine Grenache from the sandy soils of the Cristia lieu-dit, aged in one-third new barrels, it has a certain accessibility even today but will be at its best in 2-4 years and keep for 15+. It’s the finest wine ever made by Baptiste and readers need to find bottles of this elixir! Drink: 2020-2040. (8/28/18) ] 99 points Jeb Dunnuck: One of the gems in the vintage is the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes, and it’s about as beautiful an example of old vine Grenache as I could imagine. Sporting a deep purple color as well as a huge perfume of…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
PRE-ARRIVAL
$79.95
$95.00
Save $15.05 (16%)95.00
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94 points Wine Spectator: Gorgeous, with a lush core of raspberry, blueberry and boysenberry puree flavors gliding through, flecked with anise, violet and incense notes. Carried by fresh, well-embedded acidity, this is lush and beguiling through the lengthy finish. Best from 2020 through 2035. 500… ...
WS 94
WA 93
V 91-93
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Vaudieu Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2016  (#332896)

Rhone Blends - Red from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhône, Rhône, France

[ 94 points Wine Spectator: Gorgeous, with a lush core of raspberry, blueberry and boysenberry puree flavors gliding through, flecked with anise, violet and incense notes. Carried by fresh, well-embedded acidity, this is lush and beguiling through the lengthy finish. Best from 2020 through 2035. 500 cases imported. (8/29/18) ] 94 points Wine Spectator: Gorgeous, with a lush core of raspberry, blueberry and boysenberry puree flavors gliding through, flecked with anise, violet and incense notes. Carried by fresh, well-embedded acidity, this is lush and beguiling through the…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
WS 94
WA 93
V 91-93
$38.95
$55.00
Save $16.05 (29%)55.00
Save $16.05 (29%)
98 points James Suckling: There’s a beautiful purity of fresh, mixed berries, dark plums, deep spices, as well as a gentle, coal-smoke edge. The palate has an effortless, fleshy, fine-grained texture with long, majestic tannins and a long, black-cherry finish Such purity and depth, pulling a lot of… ...
JS 98
JD 96-98
WA 94
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Ferrand Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2016  (#333421)

Rhone Blends - Red from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhône, Rhône, France

[ 98 points James Suckling: There’s a beautiful purity of fresh, mixed berries, dark plums, deep spices, as well as a gentle, coal-smoke edge. The palate has an effortless, fleshy, fine-grained texture with long, majestic tannins and a long, black-cherry finish Such purity and depth, pulling a lot of flavor with perfectly balanced acidity. Equal parts of old and young vine parcels here. No wood. The real deal. Drink now or hold. (8/29/18) ] 98 points James Suckling: There’s a beautiful purity of fresh, mixed berries, dark plums, deep spices, as well as a gentle, coal-smoke edge. The palate has an effortless, fleshy, fine-grained texture with long, majestic tannins and a long, black…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JS 98
JD 96-98
WA 94
95 points Jeb Dunnuck: The same Grenache-dominated blend as the base cuvée, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes comes from older vines and is released solely for the US market. It’s a step up and is reminiscent of the 2010 with its depth, concentration, and purity. Black cherries, kirsch,… ...
JD 95
WA 94
WS 93
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Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2016  (#333031)

Rhone Blends - Red from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhône, Rhône, France

[ 95 points Jeb Dunnuck: The same Grenache-dominated blend as the base cuvée, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes comes from older vines and is released solely for the US market. It’s a step up and is reminiscent of the 2010 with its depth, concentration, and purity. Black cherries, kirsch, licorice, and crushed rock notes all emerge from this ultra-fine, beautifully polished 2016 that does everything right. Don’t miss it. Drink: Now-2028. (8/28/18) ] 95 points Jeb Dunnuck: The same Grenache-dominated blend as the base cuvée, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes comes from older vines and is released solely for the US market. It’s a step up and is reminiscent of the 2010 with its depth,…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JD 95
WA 94
WS 93
$46.95
$55.00
Save $8.05 (15%)55.00
Save $8.05 (15%)
95 points Jeb Dunnuck: The flagship 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc La Fontaine is a more substantial, serious effort that offers notes of caramelized citrus, brioche, honeysuckle and orange blossom. Rich, layered and concentrated, yet also fresh and lively, it's a terrific white that's going to sing… ...
JD 95
DE 94
WA 92-94
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Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc La Fontaine 2016  (#332446)

Rhone Blends - White from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhône, Rhône, France

[ 95 points Jeb Dunnuck: The flagship 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc La Fontaine is a more substantial, serious effort that offers notes of caramelized citrus, brioche, honeysuckle and orange blossom. Rich, layered and concentrated, yet also fresh and lively, it's a terrific white that's going to sing on the dinner table. Drink it anytime over the coming 4-5 years (it will keep even longer). (10/19/17) ] 95 points Jeb Dunnuck: The flagship 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc La Fontaine is a more substantial, serious effort that offers notes of caramelized citrus, brioche, honeysuckle and orange blossom. Rich, layered and concentrated, yet also fresh and…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 10 available
JD 95
DE 94
WA 92-94
$49.95
$70.00
Save $20.05 (29%)70.00
Save $20.05 (29%)
99 points Jeb Dunnuck (Wine Advocate): The 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Sanctus Sanctorum is a singular wine and comes from a small plot of ancient Grenache vines that are located on the famed La Crau lieu-dit, on the eastern edge of the appellation, near Vieux Télégraphe. It offers an insane bouquet of… ...
WA 99
WS 97
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Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape Sanctus Sanctorum 2012  (#320669)

Rhone Blends - Red from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhône, Rhône, France

[ 99 points Jeb Dunnuck (Wine Advocate): The 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Sanctus Sanctorum is a singular wine and comes from a small plot of ancient Grenache vines that are located on the famed La Crau lieu-dit, on the eastern edge of the appellation, near Vieux Télégraphe. It offers an insane bouquet of cassis, kirsch and black raspberry intermixed with sweet licorice, toasted spice and ground pepper that’s to die for. This is followed by a massive, full-bodied, seamless wine that has building tannin, no hard edges and a finish that won’t quit. The only problem here is that it’s almost impossible to get your hands on a bottle (there are roughly 200 magnums to go around). It’s certainly in the same ballpark as the 2009 and 2010, and will have two decades of longevity, although it should be firing on all cylinders in 5-6 years. Drink: 2017-2032. (Oct 2014) ] 99 points Jeb Dunnuck (Wine Advocate): The 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Sanctus Sanctorum is a singular wine and comes from a small plot of ancient Grenache vines that are located on the famed La Crau lieu-dit, on the eastern edge of the appellation,…

1.5L Magnum | In stock, 2 available
95 points Jeb Dunnuck: The finest wine ever from this estate is the 2016 Gigondas Vieilles Vignes, which is 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre that was destemmed and brought up in 30% new barrels. (The Grenache was brought up all in concrete.) It’s an incredibly gorgeous, full-bodied,… ...
JD 95
V 92
WA 92
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Grand Montmirail Gigondas Vieilles Vignes 2016  (#333246)

Rhone Blends - Red from Gigondas, Southern Rhône, Rhône, France

[ 95 points Jeb Dunnuck: The finest wine ever from this estate is the 2016 Gigondas Vieilles Vignes, which is 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre that was destemmed and brought up in 30% new barrels. (The Grenache was brought up all in concrete.) It’s an incredibly gorgeous, full-bodied, powerful yet elegant Gigondas that has rocking notes of plums, black raspberries, kirsch, spice, and new saddle leather literally soaring from the glass. With ultra-fine tannins, a silky, seamless texture, no hard edges, and a great, great finish, it’s a wine to buy by the case. Drink: 2018-Now. (9/26/18) ] 95 points Jeb Dunnuck: The finest wine ever from this estate is the 2016 Gigondas Vieilles Vignes, which is 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre that was destemmed and brought up in 30% new barrels. (The Grenache was brought up all in concrete.…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
PRE-ARRIVAL
$29.95
$40.00
Save $10.05 (25%)40.00
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93-95 points Jeb Dunnuck (Wine Advocate): Tasted as a final blend, the inky colored 2015 Ventoux la Quintessence is a step up over previous vintages, and I suspect it will be the greatest vintage for this cuvee to date. Not harvested until the 18th of October (which is average to early for this… ...
WA 93-95
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Pesquie Cotes du Ventoux Quintessence Rouge 2015  (#702152)

Rhone Blends - Red from Côtes de Ventoux, Rhône, France

[ 93-95 points Jeb Dunnuck (Wine Advocate): Tasted as a final blend, the inky colored 2015 Ventoux la Quintessence is a step up over previous vintages, and I suspect it will be the greatest vintage for this cuvee to date. Not harvested until the 18th of October (which is average to early for this terroir... they finished on October 31st in 2013), it has sensational purity and polish, with full-bodied richness, a big mid-palate, ultra-fine tannin and killer notes of creme de cassis, blackberries, licorice and graphite. Count me as a fan and it's another wine that will see its 20th birthday in fine form. (Oct 2016) ] 93-95 points Jeb Dunnuck (Wine Advocate): Tasted as a final blend, the inky colored 2015 Ventoux la Quintessence is a step up over previous vintages, and I suspect it will be the greatest vintage for this cuvee to date. Not harvested until the 18th…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$19.95
$25.00
Save $5.05 (20%)25.00
Save $5.05 (20%)
100 points Jeb Dunnuck: Matching the otherworldly 2009, the 2015 Hermitage Blanc is a perfect wine and certainly one of the greatest whites ever made from this hallowed estate. The normal blend of 80% Marsanne and 20% Roussanne from the l’Ermite, Péleat, and les Rocoules lieux-dits, it exhibits a… ...
JD 100
WS 97
V 97
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Chave/Jean-Louis Hermitage Blanc 2015  (#332518)

Rhone Blends - White from Hermitage, Northern Rhône, Rhône, France

[ 100 points Jeb Dunnuck: Matching the otherworldly 2009, the 2015 Hermitage Blanc is a perfect wine and certainly one of the greatest whites ever made from this hallowed estate. The normal blend of 80% Marsanne and 20% Roussanne from the l’Ermite, Péleat, and les Rocoules lieux-dits, it exhibits a huge, opulent bouquet of buttered citrus, flower oil, orange marmalade, quince, and honeysuckle that’s to die for. This majestic, full-bodied Hermitage Blanc has a huge mid-palate, thrilling purity of fruit, and a finish that won’t quit. It’s capable of lasting for 4-5 decades, but still has the sexiness of the vintage front and center and will be enjoyable early in its life. Drink: 2023-2063. (1/24/18) ] 100 points Jeb Dunnuck: Matching the otherworldly 2009, the 2015 Hermitage Blanc is a perfect wine and certainly one of the greatest whites ever made from this hallowed estate. The normal blend of 80% Marsanne and 20% Roussanne from the l’Ermite,…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
JD 100
WS 97
V 97
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