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 | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
WA 96
JD 96
WS 95
PRE-ARRIVAL
$47.95
$80.00
Save $32.05 (40%)80.00
Save $32.05 (40%)
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
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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…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$19.95
$25.00
Save $5.05 (20%)25.00
Save $5.05 (20%)
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,…

1.5L Magnum | In stock, 3 available
93 points Josh Raynolds (Vinous): Opaque ruby. Highly aromatic scents of ripe black and blue fruits, olive, Moroccan spices and candied violet. Lush, smooth and seamless on the palate, offering densely packed blackberry, cherry cola, licorice and bitter chocolate flavors complemented by subtle oak… ...
V 93
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Faury/Lionel Saint-Joseph Vieilles Vignes 2016  (#332957)

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

93 points Josh Raynolds (Vinous): Opaque ruby. Highly aromatic scents of ripe black and blue fruits, olive, Moroccan spices and candied violet. Lush, smooth and seamless on the palate, offering densely packed blackberry, cherry cola, licorice and…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
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,…

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%)
92-94 points Josh Raynolds (Vinous): Dark ruby. Potent mineral- and smoke-accented cherry, boysenberry and garrigue scents pick up a sexy incense nuance as the wine opens up. Sweet, seamless and penetrating on the palate, offering intense red and blue fruit, spicecake and lavender pastille flavors… ...
V 92-94
WA 91-93
JD 91-93
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Domaine du Cayron Gigondas 2015  (#332506)

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

92-94 points Josh Raynolds (Vinous): Dark ruby. Potent mineral- and smoke-accented cherry, boysenberry and garrigue scents pick up a sexy incense nuance as the wine opens up. Sweet, seamless and penetrating on the palate, offering intense red and…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
V 92-94
WA 91-93
JD 91-93
$29.95
$46.00
Save $16.05 (35%)46.00
Save $16.05 (35%)
92 points Jeb Dunnuck: The 2017 Côtes du Rhône is a more serious wine, with medium to full-bodied richness, smoking good notes of black raspberries, green olives, violets, and pepper, good concentration, and a great finish. Want to get a small taste of Domaine Clape but can’t afford the Cornas? Buy… ...
JD 92
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Clape Cotes-du-Rhone 2017  (#333945)

Syrah/Shiraz from Northern Rhône, Rhône, France

92 points Jeb Dunnuck: The 2017 Côtes du Rhône is a more serious wine, with medium to full-bodied richness, smoking good notes of black raspberries, green olives, violets, and pepper, good concentration, and a great finish. Want to get a small taste…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 3 available
99 points and 'Top 50 Red Wine of 2018 (#19),' Jeb Dunnuck: ...incredible stuff, and... I suspect it’s the best vintage to date... This beauty offers a thrilling blend of kirsch, blackberries, smoked earth, graphite, and licorice on the nose. It's full-bodied, deep, pure, ultra-fine, and powerful on… ...
JD 99
WA 96
WS 95
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Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Chaupin 2016  (#332826)

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

99 points and 'Top 50 Red Wine of 2018 (#19),' Jeb Dunnuck: ...incredible stuff, and... I suspect it’s the best vintage to date... This beauty offers a thrilling blend of kirsch, blackberries, smoked earth, graphite, and licorice on the nose. It's…

1.5L Magnum | In stock, 7 available
JD 99
WA 96
WS 95
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…

1.5L Magnum | In stock, 1 available
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…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
WS 94
WA 93
V 91-93
$43.95
$55.00
Save $11.05 (20%)55.00
Save $11.05 (20%)
95-97 points Joe Czerwinski (Wine Advocate): A tremendous effort, might Beaucastel's 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape outshine even the 2016? I tasted a preliminary blend that Marc Perrin said represented 80% of the wine, and it showed ridiculous floral and fresh aromas of licorice, lavender and spice, all… ...
WA 95-97
JD 95-97
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Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2017  (#333431)

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

95-97 points Joe Czerwinski (Wine Advocate): A tremendous effort, might Beaucastel's 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape outshine even the 2016? I tasted a preliminary blend that Marc Perrin said represented 80% of the wine, and it showed ridiculous floral and…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
WA 95-97
JD 95-97
PRE-ARRIVAL
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