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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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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96 points Jeb Dunnuck: The 2015 Châteauneuf-Du-Pape Cuvée Réservée is a beautiful, classic wine from the Feraud family that offers powerful notes of blackcurrants, peppered meat, garrigue, and that classic Pégau spice that's hard to find outside of this iconic estate. Possessing a deep ruby/plum… ...
JD 96
WA 96
V 93-95
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Pegau Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Reservee 2015  (#332831)

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

[ 96 points Jeb Dunnuck: The 2015 Châteauneuf-Du-Pape Cuvée Réservée is a beautiful, classic wine from the Feraud family that offers powerful notes of blackcurrants, peppered meat, garrigue, and that classic Pégau spice that's hard to find outside of this iconic estate. Possessing a deep ruby/plum color, beautiful complexity, full-bodied richness, and firm tannin, it has closed up slightly since I tasted it from barrel and is going to need 6-12 months of bottle age to bounce back, but this is a concentrated, powerful vintage for this estate that reminds me a slightly improved 2005. (8/28/18) ] 96 points Jeb Dunnuck: The 2015 Châteauneuf-Du-Pape Cuvée Réservée is a beautiful, classic wine from the Feraud family that offers powerful notes of blackcurrants, peppered meat, garrigue, and that classic Pégau spice that's hard to find outside of…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 7 available
JD 96
WA 96
V 93-95
PRE-ARRIVAL
$59.95
$110.00
Save $50.05 (46%)110.00
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95-97 points Jeb Dunnuck: A wine that s going to rival or surpass the 2015, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée shows the quality of this awesome vintage with its deep, powerful, concentrated style. While Laurence says her 2015s remind her of her 2010s, I find a certain 2010-like purity in… ...
JD 95-97
WA 93-95
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Pegau Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Reservee 2016  (#333150)

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

[ 95-97 points Jeb Dunnuck: A wine that s going to rival or surpass the 2015, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée shows the quality of this awesome vintage with its deep, powerful, concentrated style. While Laurence says her 2015s remind her of her 2010s, I find a certain 2010-like purity in this wine as well as killer notes of black raspberries, blueberries, garrigue, and pepper. Possessing both power and finesse, full body, sweet tannins, and a great finish, don t miss this beauty. (8/28/18) ] 95-97 points Jeb Dunnuck: A wine that s going to rival or surpass the 2015, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée shows the quality of this awesome vintage with its deep, powerful, concentrated style. While Laurence says her 2015s remind her of…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
JD 95-97
WA 93-95
PRE-ARRIVAL
93 points Wine Spectator: Intense, with a racy graphite edge driving the core of crushed plum and cherry fruit along. Dried anise, fruitcake and black tea notes run along the edges, adding range and texture. Drink now through 2026. 1,000 cases made. (7/25/18) ...
WS 93
V 92
JS 92
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Chave/J.L. Selection St-Joseph Offerus 2015  (#332520)

Syrah/Shiraz from St.-Joseph, Northern Rhône, Rhône, France

[ 93 points Wine Spectator: Intense, with a racy graphite edge driving the core of crushed plum and cherry fruit along. Dried anise, fruitcake and black tea notes run along the edges, adding range and texture. Drink now through 2026. 1,000 cases made. (7/25/18) ] 93 points Wine Spectator: Intense, with a racy graphite edge driving the core of crushed plum and cherry fruit along. Dried anise, fruitcake and black tea notes run along the edges, adding range and texture. Drink now through 2026. 1,000 cases made. …

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$29.95
$36.00
Save $6.05 (17%)36.00
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90 points Josh Raynolds (International Wine Cellar): Saturated ruby. Lively, spice-accented aromas of cassis, licorice, violet and tobacco. Dense, juicy and intensely flavored, with energetic red and blackberry qualities and licorice and floral pastille nuances. Firm tannins add shape to the gently… ...
IWC 90
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Chave/J.L. Selection Hermitage Farconnet 2008  (#329096)

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

[ 90 points Josh Raynolds (International Wine Cellar): Saturated ruby. Lively, spice-accented aromas of cassis, licorice, violet and tobacco. Dense, juicy and intensely flavored, with energetic red and blackberry qualities and licorice and floral pastille nuances. Firm tannins add shape to the gently sweet finish. (Mar 2012) ] 90 points Josh Raynolds (International Wine Cellar): Saturated ruby. Lively, spice-accented aromas of cassis, licorice, violet and tobacco. Dense, juicy and intensely flavored, with energetic red and blackberry qualities and licorice and floral…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
95 points Wine Spectator: Solidly packed, with a bramble-edged core of dark plum, bitter cherry and black currant fruit, inlaid with bay leaf and savory notes. The serious chalky grip through the finish will need some time to stretch out. Shows terrific interplay between the grip and fruit. Best… ...
WS 95
V 94
WA 93
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Clape Cornas 2014  (#329161)

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

[ 95 points Wine Spectator: Solidly packed, with a bramble-edged core of dark plum, bitter cherry and black currant fruit, inlaid with bay leaf and savory notes. The serious chalky grip through the finish will need some time to stretch out. Shows terrific interplay between the grip and fruit. Best from 2020 through 2030. 207 cases imported. (5/31/17) ] 95 points Wine Spectator: Solidly packed, with a bramble-edged core of dark plum, bitter cherry and black currant fruit, inlaid with bay leaf and savory notes. The serious chalky grip through the finish will need some time to stretch out. Shows…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 9 available
$104.95
$132.00
Save $27.05 (20%)132.00
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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
90-92 points Jeb Dunnuck (Wine Advocate): Not yet bottled, the 2015 Cairanne Cuvee Maximilien is a blend of 50% Grenache, 35% Mourvèdre and the rest Syrah that s brought up in concrete and stainless steel. This charming, forward, hedonistic effort excels on all accounts and has lots of cassis and… ...
WA 90-92
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Grands Bois Cotes du Rhone-Villages Cairanne Cuvee Maximilien 2015  (#332740)

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

[ 90-92 points Jeb Dunnuck (Wine Advocate): Not yet bottled, the 2015 Cairanne Cuvee Maximilien is a blend of 50% Grenache, 35% Mourvèdre and the rest Syrah that s brought up in concrete and stainless steel. This charming, forward, hedonistic effort excels on all accounts and has lots of cassis and blackberry fruits intermixed with green herbs, lavender and flower nuances. It has light tannin, tons of character and will drink nicely right out of the gate. (Dec 2016) ] 90-92 points Jeb Dunnuck (Wine Advocate): Not yet bottled, the 2015 Cairanne Cuvee Maximilien is a blend of 50% Grenache, 35% Mourvèdre and the rest Syrah that s brought up in concrete and stainless steel. This charming, forward, hedonistic effort…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 6 available
$17.95
$20.00
Save $2.05 (10%)20.00
Save $2.05 (10%)
97 points Jeb Dunnuck: The finest wine to date from this young estate (although it s made by unquestionably one of the finest winemakers out there), the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is 100% Grenache sourced all from the sandy parts of the La Crau and Font du Loup lieux-dits. It got more than a few 'Wows… ...
JD 97
WA 96
V 92-94
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Clos St. Antonin Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2016  (#333097)

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

[ 97 points Jeb Dunnuck: The finest wine to date from this young estate (although it s made by unquestionably one of the finest winemakers out there), the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is 100% Grenache sourced all from the sandy parts of the La Crau and Font du Loup lieux-dits. It got more than a few 'Wows' in the notes and boasts a medium ruby color, heavenly notes of framboise, crushed flowers, and spice, full body, ultra-fine tannins, and an insane mix of power and elegance that s hard to describe. It s going to knock your socks off over the coming 15+ years. Drink: 2020-2036. (8/28/18) ] 97 points Jeb Dunnuck: The finest wine to date from this young estate (although it s made by unquestionably one of the finest winemakers out there), the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is 100% Grenache sourced all from the sandy parts of the La Crau and…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
JD 97
WA 96
V 92-94
PRE-ARRIVAL
89-91 points Jeb Dunnuck (Wine Advocate): Gauby's 2014 Cotes du Roussillon Blanc les Calcinaires is an outstanding blend of Macabeu, Muscat, Vermentino and Chardonnay that's raised all in foudre. Scheduled to be bottled in March, it has lots of pineapple, brioche, honeysuckle and white flower notes… ...
WA 89-91
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Gauby Vin de Pays Cotes Catalanes Blanc Les Calcinaires 2014  (#329443)

Other White Blends from Rhône, France

[ 89-91 points Jeb Dunnuck (Wine Advocate): Gauby's 2014 Cotes du Roussillon Blanc les Calcinaires is an outstanding blend of Macabeu, Muscat, Vermentino and Chardonnay that's raised all in foudre. Scheduled to be bottled in March, it has lots of pineapple, brioche, honeysuckle and white flower notes to go with a round, supple, yet still fresh and lively feel on the palate. It should drink nicely for 2-3 years. Drink: 2015-2017. (Apr 2015) ] 89-91 points Jeb Dunnuck (Wine Advocate): Gauby's 2014 Cotes du Roussillon Blanc les Calcinaires is an outstanding blend of Macabeu, Muscat, Vermentino and Chardonnay that's raised all in foudre. Scheduled to be bottled in March, it has lots of…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
100 points Robert Parker: The 2010 Cote Rotie La Belle Helene is perfection. In this vintage, Ogier cut back the barrel aging time from 32 months in largely new oak casks to 18 months. Ogier s remarkable flexibility depending on vintage conditions and the quality of the fruit is admirable. He thinks… ...
RP 100
WS 98
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Ogier Cote-Rotie La Belle Helene Cote Rozier 2010  (#324201)

Syrah/Shiraz from Côte-Rôtie, Northern Rhône, Rhône, France

[ 100 points Robert Parker: The 2010 Cote Rotie La Belle Helene is perfection. In this vintage, Ogier cut back the barrel aging time from 32 months in largely new oak casks to 18 months. Ogier s remarkable flexibility depending on vintage conditions and the quality of the fruit is admirable. He thinks this may be the greatest bottle of wine he has ever made, and it s hard to disagree. An inky/purple color is followed by notes of pen ink, graphite, forest floor, licorice and abundant black and blue fruits. There is little evidence of new oak because of the extravagant richness and wealth of ripe fruit. The tannins, acidity, alcohol and wood are perfectly integrated into this exceptional wine. It will benefit from 5-6 years of cellaring and keep for 25-30+ years. (Dec 2012) ] 100 points Robert Parker: The 2010 Cote Rotie La Belle Helene is perfection. In this vintage, Ogier cut back the barrel aging time from 32 months in largely new oak casks to 18 months. Ogier s remarkable flexibility depending on vintage conditions…

1.5L Magnum | In stock, 1 available
96 points Robert Parker: This fabulous, blockbuster has been totally unevolved since bottling, but at the Jaboulet tasting, it was beginning to reveal some of its formidable potential. A saturated opaque purple color is followed by aromas of cassis, minerals, and hot bricks/wood fire. Super-ripe and… ...
RP 96
WS 96
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Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Chapelle 1989  (#321991)

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

[ 96 points Robert Parker: This fabulous, blockbuster has been totally unevolved since bottling, but at the Jaboulet tasting, it was beginning to reveal some of its formidable potential. A saturated opaque purple color is followed by aromas of cassis, minerals, and hot bricks/wood fire. Super-ripe and full-bodied, with a massive mid-section, teeth-staining extract, and mouth-searing tannin, it is a monster-sized La Chapelle. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2050. (Jun 2000) ] 96 points Robert Parker: This fabulous, blockbuster has been totally unevolved since bottling, but at the Jaboulet tasting, it was beginning to reveal some of its formidable potential. A saturated opaque purple color is followed by aromas of cassis,…

1.5L Magnum | In stock, 3 available
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