Tag: Rhone Valley

M. Chapoutier Les Incontournables Crozes-Hermitage and Luberon 2016

Here are two sound releases from M. Chapoutier, both from the 2016 vintage.  Luberon sits between the southern Rhône valley and Provence, whilst Crozes-Hermitage is in the northern Rhône and quite different in style.  The 2016 vintage appears sound in the northern Rhône and a great vintage in the southern Rhône.  I find Jancis Robinson’s website useful for vintage reports, although they can be on the tough side.  See here www.jancisrobinson.com/learn/vintages.

Luberon Les Incontournables 2016
This is pretty good for $14.  A grenache blend, it has fruity aromatics and an intensity that could place this wine as from Australia.  There’s sweet fruit, herbs and chocolate by way of aroma.  The palate is full bodied, with good length and a hot finish.  Rating: Good. Abv: 14%. Price: $14. Website: www.chapoutier.com

Crozes-Hermitage Les Incontournables 2016
This is quite a lovely Crozes-Hermitage release.  Less deeply coloured than the Luberon, it has fragrant aromatics of perfume, roses, florals and apricot.  The palate is quite primary with some jammy fruit and approachable tannins.   This wine is ready to drink now.  Rating: Good. Abv: 13%. Price: $28. Website: www.chapoutier.com.

Xavier Gérard Saint-Joseph Le Blanchard 2016

This is a deeply coloured syrah wine from Xavier Gérard in Saint-Joseph in the northern Rhône valley.  One sniff however and it is immediately a vin de terroir with its very distinctive aroma of rosemary and spice.  The palate is dry, full bodied and made in a ripe and approachable style with mid weight tannins.  Good length on the finish completes the picture.  Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $70. 

Yves Cuilleron Saint-Joseph Les Pierres Sèches 2014

This is a very tasty Saint Joseph from Yves Cuilleron.  Tasted out of a half bottle, it has red fruited aromas of redcurrant, strawberries, plus and no overt cedar influences.  The palate is medium bodied, sweet fruited, balanced and youthful.  (Region: Saint Joseph, Rhone Valley, France, Rating: Good, Would I buy it based on this tasting? Yes, Drink: now to 2020, Tasted: June 2017)

Read more:
www.cuilleron.com

Other vintages reviewed:
NA

Domaine Roche-Audran Côtes du Rhône 2014

I was impressed by this Côtes du Rhône from Domaine Roche-Audran.  It’s a blend of 70% grenache, 15% syrah and 15% carignan, the vineyard is biodynamic and the vines are between 35 and 100 years old.  In the glass, it’s a step up from the usual CDR.  It has complex aromatics of white pepper, peppercorn, rosemary and plums.  The palate is similar, with chewy, savoury tannins and good length.  The syrah and the carignan, I think, have been used to very good effect in this blend, adding pepper and spice to its grenache core.

Rating: Good to Very Good
Abv: 14%
Price: $28
Source: sample
Vendors and website: http://discovervin.com.au
Tasted: 2016

Guigal Côtes du Rhône 2011

I view Guigal’s Côtes du Rhône as the entry level benchmark of the southern Rhone valley style of GSM (grenache, syrah and mourvedre) blends.  It is universally available in my experience, well made and is good value.  The blend is in fact 50% syrah, 45% grenache and 5% mourvedre.  An “SGM” blend somehow rolls of the tongue less easily however.

The 2011 vintage tasted here reminds of plum skins and spice, with some textural tannins on the mid palate.  I’d buy more of this.  Lovely drinking.

Rating: Good
Abv: 14%
Price: $20
Vendors and website: http://www.guigal.com
Tasted: 2016