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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96 points Joe Czerwinski (Wine Advocate): Sourced from the lieux-dits of Les Brusquières and Cabrières, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Prestige is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre and 5% other varieties. Tasted blind, it's a big, full-bodied, lush wine. Powered by bold cherry and stone… ...
WA 96
JD 96
WS 95
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Sabon/Roger Chateauneuf-du-Pape Prestige 2016  (#333134)

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

96 points Joe Czerwinski (Wine Advocate): Sourced from the lieux-dits of Les Brusquières and Cabrières, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Prestige is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre and 5% other varieties. Tasted blind, it's a big, full…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 5 available
WA 96
JD 96
WS 95
$47.95
$80.00
Save $32.05 (40%)80.00
Save $32.05 (40%)
96 points Joe Czerwinski (Wine Advocate): Nearly as great as the Fleur, the 2016 Rasteau Cuvee Confiance is 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. Raspberry and mint notes appear on the nose, followed by a full-bodied, rich, velvety wine with a never-ending finish. Despite the incredible richness and… ...
WA 96
JD 94
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Soumade Cotes du Rhone-Villages Rasteau Cuvee Confiance 2016  (#333209)

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

96 points Joe Czerwinski (Wine Advocate): Nearly as great as the Fleur, the 2016 Rasteau Cuvee Confiance is 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. Raspberry and mint notes appear on the nose, followed by a full-bodied, rich, velvety wine with a never-ending…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
PRE-ARRIVAL
100 points and 'Top 50 Red Wine of 2018 (#37),' Jeb Dunnuck: ..a legendary wine in the making... reminiscent of the 1990 with its full-bodied, opulently, sexy, yet concentrated style. Offering sensational notes of blackcurrants, smoked herbs, beef blood, and chocolate, it’s a huge yet elegant wine… ...
JD 100
WA 98
V 96-98
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Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Chapelle 2015  (#334333)

Syrah/Shiraz from Hermitage, Northern Rhône, Rhône, France

100 points and 'Top 50 Red Wine of 2018 (#37),' Jeb Dunnuck: ..a legendary wine in the making... reminiscent of the 1990 with its full-bodied, opulently, sexy, yet concentrated style. Offering sensational notes of blackcurrants, smoked herbs, beef…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 9 available
JD 100
WA 98
V 96-98
95 points Matt Walls (TimAtkin.com): Lieu-dit Les Rocoules, 60-year-old vines yielding just 20hl/ha. Mango, honeycomb and deeply ingrained spice, very rich and full in the mouth. 'I like it when it’s very ripe,' says Marc Sorrel, and this is, but still balanced. Will age well. 1,500 bottles. (Oct… ...
TA 95
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Sorrel/Marc Hermitage Blanc Les Rocoules 2015  (#331700)

95 points Matt Walls (TimAtkin.com): Lieu-dit Les Rocoules, 60-year-old vines yielding just 20hl/ha. Mango, honeycomb and deeply ingrained spice, very rich and full in the mouth. 'I like it when it’s very ripe,' says Marc Sorrel, and this is, but…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 7 available
$164.95
$188.00
Save $23.05 (12%)188.00
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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.…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
PRE-ARRIVAL
$29.95
$40.00
Save $10.05 (25%)40.00
Save $10.05 (25%)
93-95 points Jeb Dunnuck: Even better, the inky colored 2016 Rasteau Marc got a big 'Wow!' in the notes. Unctuous, full-bodied, textured and always light on its feet, with terrific notes of blueberries, violets, leafy herbs and pepper, I suspect it’s the finest vintage for this cuvée to date. This… ...
JD 93-95
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Grands Bois Rasteau Cuvee Marc 2016  (#333817)

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

93-95 points Jeb Dunnuck: Even better, the inky colored 2016 Rasteau Marc got a big 'Wow!' in the notes. Unctuous, full-bodied, textured and always light on its feet, with terrific notes of blueberries, violets, leafy herbs and pepper, I suspect it’s…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
92 points Josh Raynolds (Vinous): Dark bright-hued red. Scents of ripe red berries, garrigue, woodsmoke and licorice, joined by a floral topnote that builds in the glass. Juicy and seamless in the mouth, offering gently sweet raspberry and lavender pastille flavors that deepen on the back half.… ...
V 92
JD 91
WA 91
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Cristia Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2016  (#333145)

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

92 points Josh Raynolds (Vinous): Dark bright-hued red. Scents of ripe red berries, garrigue, woodsmoke and licorice, joined by a floral topnote that builds in the glass. Juicy and seamless in the mouth, offering gently sweet raspberry and lavender…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$34.95
$49.00
Save $14.05 (29%)49.00
Save $14.05 (29%)
96 points Jeb Dunnuck: Similarly colored, the 2016 Gigondas Vieilles Vignes (80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre) offers a killer bouquet of blackcurrants, sappy garrigue, exotic spices, and leafy herbs. It's full-bodied, ultra-pure, seamless and silky, with no hard edges and beautiful balance. Checking… ...
JD 96
WA 93
V 91-93
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Saint-Damien Gigondas Vieilles Vignes 2016  (#334055)

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

96 points Jeb Dunnuck: Similarly colored, the 2016 Gigondas Vieilles Vignes (80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre) offers a killer bouquet of blackcurrants, sappy garrigue, exotic spices, and leafy herbs. It's full-bodied, ultra-pure, seamless and silky,…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JD 96
WA 93
V 91-93
95 points Jeb Dunnuck: The 2015 Gigondas Cuvee Louisiane comes from a site located just beside the domaine, which is a mix of clay and sandy soils. Aged all in foudre, it boasts terrific notes of framboise, spring flowers, black raspberries and orange blossom (which I normally find more in the Les… ...
JD 95
WA 95
V 92-94
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Saint-Damien Gigondas La Louisiane 2015  (#332305)

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

95 points Jeb Dunnuck: The 2015 Gigondas Cuvee Louisiane comes from a site located just beside the domaine, which is a mix of clay and sandy soils. Aged all in foudre, it boasts terrific notes of framboise, spring flowers, black raspberries and…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
JD 95
WA 95
V 92-94
93 points Jeb Dunnuck: The 2015 Gigondas Vieilles Vignes offers the most finesse and elegance of the three cuvees, and is slightly less exotic, yet more refined and pretty. Offering lots of strawberry and framboise fruits, loads of cedary spice, full-bodied richness and building, polished tannin,… ...
JD 93
V 91-93
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Saint-Damien Gigondas Vieilles Vignes 2015  (#332306)

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

93 points Jeb Dunnuck: The 2015 Gigondas Vieilles Vignes offers the most finesse and elegance of the three cuvees, and is slightly less exotic, yet more refined and pretty. Offering lots of strawberry and framboise fruits, loads of cedary spice, full…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
93 points Jeb Dunnuck: Made from 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, and 10% Cinsault, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Olivets is a winner in this great vintage. Blackcurrants, black olives, licorice, and peppery notes all flow to a ripe, sexy, opulent Châteauneuf-du-Pape that has terrific purity, ripe tannin… ...
JD 93
WS 92
WA 92
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Sabon/Roger Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Olivets 2016  (#333133)

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

93 points Jeb Dunnuck: Made from 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, and 10% Cinsault, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Olivets is a winner in this great vintage. Blackcurrants, black olives, licorice, and peppery notes all flow to a ripe, sexy, opulent…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JD 93
WS 92
WA 92
$33.95
$45.00
Save $11.05 (25%)45.00
Save $11.05 (25%)
97 points Jeb Dunnuck: The 2016 Gigondas Les Souteyrades checks in as 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre that was brought up all in foudre. It's another powerful, concentrated, awesome wine that has slightly more exotic notes of black raspberries, crushed flowers, spice, and sappy garrigue. I almost… ...
JD 97
WE 96
WA 95
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Saint-Damien Gigondas Les Souteyrades 2016  (#334054)

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

97 points Jeb Dunnuck: The 2016 Gigondas Les Souteyrades checks in as 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre that was brought up all in foudre. It's another powerful, concentrated, awesome wine that has slightly more exotic notes of black raspberries,…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JD 97
WE 96
WA 95
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