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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95 points Jeb Dunnuck: ...a blockbuster made from a single parcel of old Roussanne vines. It was raised all in new oak, yet aside from a slight smokiness, you wouldn’t know it. Possessing a unique bouquet of buttered peach, pineapple, wood smoke and hints of meatiness, it deep, rich and unctuous on… ...
JD 95
DE 94
WS 93
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Vaudieu Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Les Vieilles Roussanne 2016  (#332899)

Roussanne from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhône, Rhône, France

95 points Jeb Dunnuck: ...a blockbuster made from a single parcel of old Roussanne vines. It was raised all in new oak, yet aside from a slight smokiness, you wouldn’t know it. Possessing a unique bouquet of buttered peach, pineapple, wood smoke and…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JD 95
DE 94
WS 93
$64.95
$85.00
Save $20.05 (24%)85.00
Save $20.05 (24%)
97 points Decanter: There is no better way to develop an understanding of the different expressions of the single vineyard sites of Côte-Rôtie than by tasting from barrel in Jean-Paul Jamet's underground bunker - especially in a vintage like 2016. 'You smell the terroir first in 2016; in 2015, you… ...
DE 97
V 95-97
JD 94-96
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Jamet/Jean-Paul & Corinne Cote-Rotie 2016  (#334346)

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

97 points Decanter: There is no better way to develop an understanding of the different expressions of the single vineyard sites of Côte-Rôtie than by tasting from barrel in Jean-Paul Jamet's underground bunker - especially in a vintage like 2016. …

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12 available
DE 97
V 95-97
JD 94-96
PRE-ARRIVAL
94-96 points Josh Raynolds (Vinous): Deep ruby. Deeply perfumed aromas of ripe red and dark berries, candied flowers and garrigue slowly pick up a spicy element as the wine stretches out. Juicy and seamless on the palate, offering alluringly sweet black raspberry, spicecake and lavender pastille… ...
V 94-96
JD 95
WS 95
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Vaudieu Chateauneuf-du-Pape Val de Dieu 2016  (#332901)

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

94-96 points Josh Raynolds (Vinous): Deep ruby. Deeply perfumed aromas of ripe red and dark berries, candied flowers and garrigue slowly pick up a spicy element as the wine stretches out. Juicy and seamless on the palate, offering alluringly sweet…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
V 94-96
JD 95
WS 95
PRE-ARRIVAL
$59.95
$90.00
Save $30.05 (33%)90.00
Save $30.05 (33%)
92 points Jeb Dunnuck: Based on equal parts Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, the 2015 Cotes-du-Rhone Trois Cepages offers a gorgeous bouquet of currants, garrigue, saddle leather and pepper. Just layered, ripe, sexy and forward, yet with a core of tannin and concentrated fruit, it's reminiscent of a… ...
WA 90-93
JD 92
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Aphillanthes Cotes du Rhone-Villages Cuvee 3 Cepages 2015  (#333812)

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

92 points Jeb Dunnuck: Based on equal parts Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, the 2015 Cotes-du-Rhone Trois Cepages offers a gorgeous bouquet of currants, garrigue, saddle leather and pepper. Just layered, ripe, sexy and forward, yet with a core of…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
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
WS 96
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…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
JD 95-97
WS 96
WA 93-95
PRE-ARRIVAL
$64.95
$115.00
Save $50.05 (44%)115.00
Save $50.05 (44%)
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
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, 4 available
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
WS 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%)
96-99 points Jeb Dunnuck: I was able to taste the 2016 Hermitage from three separate tanks which are blended prior to bottling. All three samples showed brilliant purity of fruit, full body, a forward, seamless, elegant texture, and classic building minerality. This is haute couture at its finest… ...
JD 96-99
JS 97-98
WA 96-98
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Chave/Jean-Louis Hermitage Rouge 2016  (#334626)

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

96-99 points Jeb Dunnuck: I was able to taste the 2016 Hermitage from three separate tanks which are blended prior to bottling. All three samples showed brilliant purity of fruit, full body, a forward, seamless, elegant texture, and classic building…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JD 96-99
JS 97-98
WA 96-98
91-94 points Jeb Dunnuck: I loved the 2016 Cairanne Maximilien and it offers terrific notes of plums, scorched earth, pepper and distinct minerality in a full-bodied, opulent, unctuous package. Made from 50% Grenache, 35% Mourvèdre and 15% Syrah, drink this smoking good red over the coming 6-7 years… ...
JD 91-94
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Grands Bois Cotes du Rhone-Villages Cairanne Cuvee Maximilien 2016  (#333816)

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

91-94 points Jeb Dunnuck: I loved the 2016 Cairanne Maximilien and it offers terrific notes of plums, scorched earth, pepper and distinct minerality in a full-bodied, opulent, unctuous package. Made from 50% Grenache, 35% Mourvèdre and 15% Syrah,…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre and Cinsault. ip your nose into a glass of Serge Férigoule’s Vacqueyras: you’ll find the liquid reincarnation of the stony terroir from which this red hails. Garrigue—wild thyme, rosemary, and, judging from the scent, some lavender—grows copiously around the… ...
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Le Sang des Cailloux Vaqueyras Cuvee Floureto 2016  (#333673)

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

70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre and Cinsault. ip your nose into a glass of Serge Férigoule’s Vacqueyras: you’ll find the liquid reincarnation of the stony terroir from which this red hails. Garrigue—wild thyme, rosemary, and, judging from the…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 5 available
$29.95
$34.00
Save $4.05 (12%)34.00
Save $4.05 (12%)
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 | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
WS 94
WA 93
V 91-93
PRE-ARRIVAL
$39.95
$55.00
Save $15.05 (27%)55.00
Save $15.05 (27%)
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