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
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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 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 finish. Despite the incredible richness and concentration, the wine remains fresh and fragrant, lithe and agile, turning silky and lingering. It's another tremendous effort from the Romero family. Drink: 2019-2030. (Oct 2018) ] 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…

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98 points Jeb Dunnuck: Deep ruby-colored and offering a heavenly bouquet of black raspberries, toasted spiced, cured meats, licorice, and cured meats, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Combes des Fous is awesome on the palate, with a silky, seamless profile that just keeps on going. Possessing ultra-fine… ...
JD 98
WA 95
WS 95
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Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Combe des Fous 2016  (#333032)

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

[ 98 points Jeb Dunnuck: Deep ruby-colored and offering a heavenly bouquet of black raspberries, toasted spiced, cured meats, licorice, and cured meats, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Combes des Fous is awesome on the palate, with a silky, seamless profile that just keeps on going. Possessing ultra-fine tannin, no hard edges, and a huge finish, it s a phenomenal bottle of wine. The fact that it was bottled just one month ago makes this showing even more impressive. (8/28/18) ] 98 points Jeb Dunnuck: Deep ruby-colored and offering a heavenly bouquet of black raspberries, toasted spiced, cured meats, licorice, and cured meats, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Combes des Fous is awesome on the palate, with a silky, seamless…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
JD 98
WA 95
WS 95
$108.95
$135.00
Save $26.05 (19%)135.00
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90 points Jeb Dunnuck: The 2016 IGP Vin De Pays Fleurs De Mai is a pretty, elegant Syrah that was vinified all in stainless steel and aged in larger oak tanks. Flowers, black cherries, and white pepper all emerge from this medium-bodied, silky, elegant Syrah that s ideal for drinking over the coming… ...
JD 90
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Vernay Syrah VdP des Collines Rhodaniennes Fleurs de Mai 2016  (#331683)

Syrah/Shiraz from Northern Rhône, Rhône, France

[ 90 points Jeb Dunnuck: The 2016 IGP Vin De Pays Fleurs De Mai is a pretty, elegant Syrah that was vinified all in stainless steel and aged in larger oak tanks. Flowers, black cherries, and white pepper all emerge from this medium-bodied, silky, elegant Syrah that s ideal for drinking over the coming 3-5 years. Drink: 2018-2022. (1/24/18) ] 90 points Jeb Dunnuck: The 2016 IGP Vin De Pays Fleurs De Mai is a pretty, elegant Syrah that was vinified all in stainless steel and aged in larger oak tanks. Flowers, black cherries, and white pepper all emerge from this medium-bodied, silky,…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
99 points Jeb Dunnuck: Bottled at the same time, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Vieilles Vignes gives up more cassis, tapenade, underbrush, cured meats, and earth, and it s a slightly more dense, backward wine compared to the Chaupin. Full-bodied and beautifully concentrated, with tons of… ...
JD 99
WA 97
WS 97
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Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2016  (#332828)

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

[ 99 points Jeb Dunnuck: Bottled at the same time, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Vieilles Vignes gives up more cassis, tapenade, underbrush, cured meats, and earth, and it s a slightly more dense, backward wine compared to the Chaupin. Full-bodied and beautifully concentrated, with tons of structure, it stays fresh and elegant, has sweet tannins, and a blockbuster finish. It's an incredible, borderline perfect wine from this estate that will keep for two decades or more. Drink: 2020-2041. (8/28/18) ] 99 points Jeb Dunnuck: Bottled at the same time, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Vieilles Vignes gives up more cassis, tapenade, underbrush, cured meats, and earth, and it s a slightly more dense, backward wine compared to the Chaupin. Full-bodied…

1.5L Magnum | Pre-arrival, 7 available
JD 99
WA 97
WS 97
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$184.95
$240.00
Save $55.05 (23%)240.00
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100% Marsanne. The fruit for this wine comes mainly from the lieu-dit Mason Blanche, which sits atop the hill of Hermitage. The soil is iron-rich clay and loess... This terroir is very interesting for the white as it comes from a cooler soil and gives aromas of stone fruit and white flowers. It is a… ...
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Chave/J.L. Selection Hermitage Blanc Blanche 2013  (#329686)

Other White Blends from Hermitage, Northern Rhône, Rhône, France

[ 100% Marsanne. The fruit for this wine comes mainly from the lieu-dit Mason Blanche, which sits atop the hill of Hermitage. The soil is iron-rich clay and loess... This terroir is very interesting for the white as it comes from a cooler soil and gives aromas of stone fruit and white flowers. It is a white Hermitage that has the advantage of being approachable at a young age for drinking pleasure as well as having upwards of ten years of aging potential. ] 100% Marsanne. The fruit for this wine comes mainly from the lieu-dit Mason Blanche, which sits atop the hill of Hermitage. The soil is iron-rich clay and loess... This terroir is very interesting for the white as it comes from a cooler soil and…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 5 available
$59.95
$87.00
Save $27.05 (31%)87.00
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95 points Jeb Dunnuck: I also loved the 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Côte Ronde, and while this cuvée can show a rustic edge (especially compared the Cuvée Juline), it's pure, silky and polished in 2015. Black raspberries, cassis, olive tapenade and tobacco leaf all emerge from this full-bodied,… ...
JD 95
WS 93
V 91-93
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Autard Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Cote Ronde 2015  (#331140)

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

[ 95 points Jeb Dunnuck: I also loved the 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Côte Ronde, and while this cuvée can show a rustic edge (especially compared the Cuvée Juline), it's pure, silky and polished in 2015. Black raspberries, cassis, olive tapenade and tobacco leaf all emerge from this full-bodied, concentrated, impeccably balanced beauty that has fine tannin and a great finish. Drink it anytime over the coming 10-15 years. The blend is equal parts Grenache and Syrah. (Oct 2017) ] 95 points Jeb Dunnuck: I also loved the 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Côte Ronde, and while this cuvée can show a rustic edge (especially compared the Cuvée Juline), it's pure, silky and polished in 2015. Black raspberries, cassis, olive tapenade and…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JD 95
WS 93
V 91-93
$41.95
$85.00
Save $43.05 (51%)85.00
Save $43.05 (51%)
97+ points Jeb Dunnuck: The flagship is the Grenache-dominated 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Imperiale, which comes from vines planted in 1902 and was destemmed and aged in concrete tanks. Awesome notes of blackberries, blueberries, crushed rocks, violets, and graphite all emerge from this tight,… ...
JD 97
WA 95
DE 95
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Usseglio/Raymond Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Imperiale 2016  (#333423)

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

[ 97+ points Jeb Dunnuck: The flagship is the Grenache-dominated 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Imperiale, which comes from vines planted in 1902 and was destemmed and aged in concrete tanks. Awesome notes of blackberries, blueberries, crushed rocks, violets, and graphite all emerge from this tight, full-bodied, concentrated and backward Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Possessing incredible purity of fruit, a concentrated yet fresh, structured profile, and a huge finish, it just needs time to shine. Drink: 2023-2038. (8/28/18) ] 97+ points Jeb Dunnuck: The flagship is the Grenache-dominated 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Imperiale, which comes from vines planted in 1902 and was destemmed and aged in concrete tanks. Awesome notes of blackberries, blueberries, crushed rocks,…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JD 97
WA 95
DE 95
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
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$79.95
$95.00
Save $15.05 (16%)95.00
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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
$39.95
$55.00
Save $15.05 (27%)55.00
Save $15.05 (27%)
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