Red, Rhone Blends - Red, 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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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…

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90 points Wine Spectator: Quite ripe and plush, with bold raspberry, grilled anise and cracked pepper flavors, but well-structured enough to stay lively. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Drink now through 2023. 800 cases made. (6/30/18) 74% Grenache, 19% Syrah, 7% Mourvèdre. ...
WS 90
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Linne Calodo Sticks and Stones Paso Robles 2016  (#331647)

Rhone Blends - Red from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California

[ 90 points Wine Spectator: Quite ripe and plush, with bold raspberry, grilled anise and cracked pepper flavors, but well-structured enough to stay lively. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Drink now through 2023. 800 cases made. (6/30/18) 74% Grenache, 19% Syrah, 7% Mourvèdre. ] 90 points Wine Spectator: Quite ripe and plush, with bold raspberry, grilled anise and cracked pepper flavors, but well-structured enough to stay lively. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Drink now through 2023. 800 cases made. (6/30/18) 74% Grenache,…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 7 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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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…

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JD 99
WA 97
WS 97
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$240.00
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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
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91 points Josh Raynolds (Vinous): Dark ruby. Lively, sharply focused aromas of fresh raspberry, candied lavender and spicecake reveal a zesty mineral nuance that becomes more emphatic with air. Juicy, appealingly sweet raspberry, cherry and spicecake flavors deepen and spread out slowly while… ...
V 91
WE 91
WS 90
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Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rouge Paso Robles 2015  (#331288)

Rhone Blends - Red from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California

[ 91 points Josh Raynolds (Vinous): Dark ruby. Lively, sharply focused aromas of fresh raspberry, candied lavender and spicecake reveal a zesty mineral nuance that becomes more emphatic with air. Juicy, appealingly sweet raspberry, cherry and spicecake flavors deepen and spread out slowly while maintaining urgency. At once concentrated and nervy, finishing with very good focus and smooth, sneaky tannins. Drink: 2021-2027. (Nov 2017) ] 91 points Josh Raynolds (Vinous): Dark ruby. Lively, sharply focused aromas of fresh raspberry, candied lavender and spicecake reveal a zesty mineral nuance that becomes more emphatic with air. Juicy, appealingly sweet raspberry, cherry and spicecake…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 5 available
$19.95
$25.00
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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
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%)
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 fresh aromas of licorice, lavender and spice, all backed by tremendous fruit that went beyond black and red and into hints of exotic stone fruit. The final blend will likely contain more than 10% Counoise, the highest proportion ever utilized at the estate. It's rich and concentrated yet silky and lithe, with a fantastically long, elegant finish. Drink: 2020-2035. (Aug 2018) ] 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
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.) It s an incredibly gorgeous, full-bodied, powerful yet elegant Gigondas that has rocking notes of plums, black raspberries, kirsch, spice, and new saddle leather literally soaring from the glass. With ultra-fine tannins, a silky, seamless texture, no hard edges, and a great, great finish, it s a wine to buy by the case. Drink: 2018-Now. (9/26/18) ] 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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