Red, Rhone Blends - Red, Other Red Blends, WINE

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Another regional style that has taken on a global application, the term "Rhône Blend" typically refers to wines made predominantly from the major, legally permitted varietals of the southern Rhône Valley in southeast France. Grenache is the primary grape varietal in most of these blends, and a wine will take on different characteristics depending on its proportional composition and its place of origin. As a blending component, Grenache is valued for the added body and fruitiness that it brings without added tannins. As a varietal, the grape's naturally low concentration of phenolics contribute to its pale color and lack of extract, but viticultural practices and low yields can increase the concentrations of phenolic compounds. Grenache-based wines tend to be made for early consumption with its propensity for oxidation make it a poor candidate for long-term aging. However, producers who use low yields grown on poor soils can produce dense, concentrated wines that can benefit from cellaring. Grenache-based wines can develop complex and intense notes of blackcurrants, black cherries, black olives, coffee, gingerbread, honey, leather, black pepper, tar, spices, and roasted nuts. When yields are increased, more overtly earthy and herbal notes emerge that tend to quickly fade on the palate.

Red wines from the southern Rhône can contain varying amounts of Cinsault, Counoise, Syrah, Mourvédre, and Carignan, but are almost always based on Grenache Noir. The characteristic of French Grenache-based wines depends largely on the selection of its blending partners and can range from the spicy richness associated with Châteauneuf-du-Pape to the chewy fruitiness associated with basic Côtes du Rhône Villages. Gigondas, Vacqueyras and Rasteau are other southern Rhône AOCs that produce their own distinctly characteristic Grenache-based wines. Generally, these wines are built for immediate consumption or mid-term aging, but the top examples, especially in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, can endure extended cellaring. Grenache is widely grown throught Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence, as well, albeit of generally lesser quality than in the Rhône Valley itself. Many sub-AOCs of Languedoc-Roussillon will use Grenache as a secondary component in blends featuring predominantly Carignan, Syrah, or Cinsault. But perhaps the most highly prized, non-Grenache-based Rhône blends in France hail from Bandol in Provence, where the hearty, meaty Mourvédre grape forms the basis of the wines. Elsewhere in Provence, Grenache is the main staple in the region's widely beloved, fruity rosé wines.

Spain, where the grape is known as Garnacha, has the largest concentration of Grenache vines in the world, and while the grape is often blended with local varietals across the country, the tiny, hilltop region of Priorat is considered the apex of Spanish Grenache-based wine production. Low yields, warm weather, and an increasing commitment to quality result in an iteration that, when blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and/or Carignan, can and must age for a number years to be fully enjoyable. These are wines of substantial power and body, with driving tannins, explosive fruit, and intensely earthy characteristics. Grenache is much less common in Italy, and in fact, it really only grows as Cannonau on the island of Sardigna, where it yields dark, brooding, powerfully tannic wines of supremely rustic character.

Grenache-based blends appear all over the New World, as well, but two countries in particular seem to have captured the formula to greater distinction than the rest. The grape appeared in Australia as early as 1832, and for a time it was the country's most widely planted varietal. Plantings in McLaren Vale, Barossa valley, and Clare Valley boomed, but by the mid-20th century it was overtaken by both Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. However, the past decade has seen a resurgence of the "GSM" blends with artisanal producers making the most of some seriously old vineyards. Varietal Grenache from the McLaren Vale is characterized by luscious richness and spicy notes while Barossa Valley Grenache is characterized by jammy, intense fruitiness. The United States has had its own surge of popularity in Grenache-based wines, beginning with the Rhône Rangers, a consortium of Central Coast growers in California who imported new cuttings from the Rhône valley for planting in the cooler Central Coast regions for use in the production of premium varietal Grenache and Rhône style blends. The wines of Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County are cool climate examples with bright red fruits and suave, gentle textures, while the warmer Paso Robles regions produces Grenache- and Syrah-based wines on par with Priorat for their ripeness, power, and intensity.

There are few, if any varietals, the world over that can display the kind of versatility and variance of style as Grenache, which goes a long way to explaining its popularity with growers and consumers alike. While it seldom reaches the same heights as Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir, it is nonetheless an equally important cornerstone in the world of wine.

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100 points Jeb Dunnuck: I was also able to taste the 2016 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvée Da Capo, which comes mostly from older vines in the La Crau lieu-dit and spends an additional year in a large foudre. The 2016 vintage was truly magical for the region, and this Cuvée Da Capo is unquestionably one of… ...
JD 100
CT 100
WA 99
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Pegau Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee da Capo 2016  (#333151)

750ml
In stock, 1 available

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

100 points Jeb Dunnuck: I was also able to taste the 2016 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvée Da Capo, which comes mostly from older vines in the La Crau lieu-dit and spends an additional year in a large foudre. The 2016 vintage was truly magical for the…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
JD 100
CT 100
WA 99
$349.95
$600.00
Save $250.05 (42%)600.00
Save $250.05 (42%)
Not yet reviewed; 2009 vintage rated Three Glasses by Gambero Rosso: Their 2009 Amarone is an almost transparent ruby garnet wine with an elegant aromatic profile. It unfolds slowly, with super-ripe fruit followed by spices and crushed flowers. Finally a delicate and unwavering minerality emerges.… ...
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Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2011  (#334994)

750ml
In stock, 1 available

Other Red Blends from Veneto, Italy

Not yet reviewed; 2009 vintage rated Three Glasses by Gambero Rosso: Their 2009 Amarone is an almost transparent ruby garnet wine with an elegant aromatic profile. It unfolds slowly, with super-ripe fruit followed by spices and crushed flowers.…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
$299.95
$375.00
Save $75.05 (20%)375.00
Save $75.05 (20%)
98 points Jeb Dunnuck: The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Deus-Ex Machina (60/40 Grenache and Mourvèdre) shows more classic Mourvèdre notes, with blackcurrants, Asian spices, crushed violets, cured meats, and graphite all giving way to a power packed, opulent, hedonistic 2017 that does everything right.… ...
JD 98
WA 98
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Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape Deus ex Machina 2017  (#335479)

1.5L
In stock, 2 available

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

98 points Jeb Dunnuck: The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Deus-Ex Machina (60/40 Grenache and Mourvèdre) shows more classic Mourvèdre notes, with blackcurrants, Asian spices, crushed violets, cured meats, and graphite all giving way to a power packed,…

1.5L Magnum | In stock, 2 available
97 points Jeb Dunnuck: The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape La Combe Des Fous checks in as a normal blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and the rest Vaccarèse and Cinsault, raised in tank and demi-muids. Kirsch liqueur, white flowers, graphite, ground pepper, and obvious minerality all emerge from this… ...
JD 97
WA 97
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Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Combe des Fous 2017  (#335477)

1.5L
In stock, 3 available

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

97 points Jeb Dunnuck: The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape La Combe Des Fous checks in as a normal blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and the rest Vaccarèse and Cinsault, raised in tank and demi-muids. Kirsch liqueur, white flowers, graphite, ground pepper,…

1.5L Magnum | In stock, 3 available
100 points Jeb Dunnuck (Wine Advocate): A bigger, richer, more concentrated wine than the ethereally textured Cuvee Chaupin, the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvée Vieilles Vignes is unquestionably one of the wines of the vintage as well as one of the finest Chateauneuf du Papes ever made. Offering… ...
RP 100
JD 99
IWC 96
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Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2007  (#303874)

750ml
In stock, 4 available

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

100 points Jeb Dunnuck (Wine Advocate): A bigger, richer, more concentrated wine than the ethereally textured Cuvee Chaupin, the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvée Vieilles Vignes is unquestionably one of the wines of the vintage as well as one of the…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 4 available
RP 100
JD 99
IWC 96
100 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): Readers should do whatever they can to get their hands on a few bottles of the 2013 d'Alceo. Seamless and voluptuous in the glass, it is an epic wine that embodies all the qualities that make these terraced vineyards in Panzano so special. Blackberry jam, crème… ...
AG 100
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Castello dei Rampolla Toscana Vigna d'Alceo 2013  (#701903)

750ml
In stock, 1 available

Other Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy

100 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): Readers should do whatever they can to get their hands on a few bottles of the 2013 d'Alceo. Seamless and voluptuous in the glass, it is an epic wine that embodies all the qualities that make these terraced…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
$199.95
$240.00
Save $40.05 (17%)240.00
Save $40.05 (17%)
92.8 points CellarTracker.com community score. 92 points Robert Parker: The deep ruby/plum-tinged, spicy 2009 Fonsalette Cotes du Rhone offers hints of sweet boysenberry, black cherry, licorice and incense. Elegant and full-bodied with a heady concoction of fruit and glycerin, it can be enjoyed for… ...
CT 93
RP 92
V 92
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Rayas Cotes-du-Rhone Chateau de Fonsalette 2009  (#335690)

750ml
In stock, 2 available

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

92.8 points CellarTracker.com community score. 92 points Robert Parker: The deep ruby/plum-tinged, spicy 2009 Fonsalette Cotes du Rhone offers hints of sweet boysenberry, black cherry, licorice and incense. Elegant and full-bodied with a heady…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
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94 points Jeb Dunnuck (Wine Advocate): The 176-case 2014 The Lovers checks in as 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Syrah... The Cabernet shows beautifully here with its blackcurrants, graphite and dried herbs, with some meaty, smoky notes (no doubt from the Syrah) coming through on the background. A… ...
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Cayuse Cabernet/Syrah Walla Walla Valley The Lovers 2014  (#331291)

750ml
In stock, 2 available

Other Red Blends from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington

94 points Jeb Dunnuck (Wine Advocate): The 176-case 2014 The Lovers checks in as 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Syrah... The Cabernet shows beautifully here with its blackcurrants, graphite and dried herbs, with some meaty, smoky notes (no doubt…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
94 points Wine Spectator: A lovely, high-pitched style, with a honeysuckle note out front, followed quickly by golden raisin, persimmon, glazed peach, heather and white ginger flavors. Light caramel details fill in through the finish, lending a sweet component while leaving the brightness intact.… ...
WS 94
WA 94
W&S 93
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Sandeman Tawny Port 40-Year NV  (#702278)

750ml
In stock, 1 available

Port from Porto DOC, Portugal

94 points Wine Spectator: A lovely, high-pitched style, with a honeysuckle note out front, followed quickly by golden raisin, persimmon, glazed peach, heather and white ginger flavors. Light caramel details fill in through the finish, lending a sweet…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
WS 94
WA 94
W&S 93
100 points James Suckling: OMG. This is really the most amazing young Taylor's I have ever tasted. Full-bodied and lightly sweet with super power and intensity. So racy and focused. Yet this has such muscle and intensity. Needs at least eight years to show you everything it has to offer. Drink in… ...
JS 100
WS 98
IWR 98
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Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port 2016  (#702066)

750ml
In stock, 8 available

Port from Porto DOC, Portugal

100 points James Suckling: OMG. This is really the most amazing young Taylor's I have ever tasted. Full-bodied and lightly sweet with super power and intensity. So racy and focused. Yet this has such muscle and intensity. Needs at least eight years…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 8 available
JS 100
WS 98
IWR 98
98 points Jeb Dunnuck: The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Deus-Ex Machina (60/40 Grenache and Mourvèdre) shows more classic Mourvèdre notes, with blackcurrants, Asian spices, crushed violets, cured meats, and graphite all giving way to a power packed, opulent, hedonistic 2017 that does everything right.… ...
JD 98
WA 98
Quick View Wishlist
Pic

Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape Deus ex Machina 2017  (#335478)

750ml
In stock, 12+ available

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

98 points Jeb Dunnuck: The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Deus-Ex Machina (60/40 Grenache and Mourvèdre) shows more classic Mourvèdre notes, with blackcurrants, Asian spices, crushed violets, cured meats, and graphite all giving way to a power packed,…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
98 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2016 Tignanello is flat out stunning. Dark, dense and resonant, the 2016 is a wonderfully complete wine that will provide readers with decades of pure drinking pleasure. The 2016 is especially dark and brooding, and yet the tannins are incredibly polished to… ...
AG 98
WS 97
WA 97
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Antinori Tignanello 2016  (#702305)

750ml
Pre-arrival, 12 available

Other Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy

98 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2016 Tignanello is flat out stunning. Dark, dense and resonant, the 2016 is a wonderfully complete wine that will provide readers with decades of pure drinking pleasure. The 2016 is especially dark and brooding…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12 available
AG 98
WS 97
WA 97
PRE-ARRIVAL
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