Syrah is at its finest in the Northern Rhône. Appellations such as Hermitage, Côte Rôtie, and Cornas produce transcendent expressions of the grape, combining darkly beautiful notes of blackberry and plum with spices, minerals, and savory umami notes.
The 2017 vintage was an unusual one in the Southern Rhône. Most reds here rely on Grenache for a majority (or at least plurality) of their blend, but in 2017 Grenache vines across the region had a bad Spring flowering, and yields were down dramatically.
Transition to organics/biodynamics may be trendy in winemaking today, but it’s nothing new at the Domaine Pierre André in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Jacqueline André’s grandfather stopped using chemicals in his vines in 1963, and the domaine has been certified organic since 1980 – the first in the appellation.
For years, Gigondas was a savvy wine collector’s secret: near-Châteauneuf-level complexity and richness, at a substantial discount. But even as its name has spread and prices have crept up, the price-value ratio in Gigondas remains unusually good. As Vinous’s Josh Raynolds put it after tasting several hundred cuvées this spring, “in the context of the world’s best wines, almost every…
Sisters Dany and Carol Chastan make exquisite Rhône cuvées using old-school techniques. ambient yeasts, no oak (not even foudres), 100% whole cluster, no fining or filtering. It sounds like a recipe for a big rustic wine, but the Chastan sisters somehow managed to produce wines of superb texture and subtlety.
The Domaine les Goubert is among the most consistent winemakers in our portfolio. No matter the vintage – warm or cool, sunny or wet, easy or difficult -- the Goubert wines are reliably outstanding.
France’s Southern Rhône valley produces rich, smooth red blends. At one end of the spectrum there’s Châteauneuf-du-Pape, famous and long-lived; at the other there’s Côtes du Rhône, uncomplicated and inexpensive. Today’s wine is from the middle.
The Clos du Joncuas might be the most exciting recent find in our portfolio. Based in Gigondas in the Southern Rhône, sisters Dany and Carol Chastan learned their craft from their parents and grandparents, and have themselves been farming organically for 40 years.
As some of you noticed, we underbought rosé this year. Our entire summer’s worth sold out in 15 days, and by June 1 there wasn’t a drop of pink in the entire warehouse. Turns out all those people sitting at home got thirsty when the weather warmed up!
With most socializing happening outdoors these days, we’re getting lots of requests for wines suited for a patio or a picnic. We ran out of most of our everyday wines back when everyone was busy stocking up on pasta and purell. But we’ve just restocked, and none is more welcome than today’s Côtes du Rhône.
Vinous writer Josh Raynolds calls the Domaine du Tunnel “among the top producers of Cornas.” Star winemaker Stephane Robert farms an envious collection of old syrah vines around the tiny appellation, and his wines very much live up to the hype. He’s humble and quiet in person, but his wines are bold, assertive, and charming.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the Rhône Valley’s most famous terroir. Known for its bold, inky rich wines mostly from Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre, the town’s best examples improve for decades, and can cost three figures per bottle.
In much of the world, Syrah is a powerful grape that produces soft wines with jammy fruit and low tannin. But in Northern Rhône Valley, the grape takes on an entirely different style. Grown at its northern ripening limit, Syrah finds a more elegant and balanced expression on the steep banks of the Rhône River south of Lyon.
The Northern Rhône produces the world’s most complex and balanced expressions of Syrah. Particularly in Côte Rôtie, at the region’s northern limit, the wines combine inky, black, masculine fruit with extraordinary lift and finesse.
Winemaker Nicolas Haeni’s secret to success comes down to one thing: elevation. The Malmont vineyards are perched high in the hills above Séguret, where cooler air and slower ripening grapes are the key to balance. As the rest of the Southern Rhône struggles to keep their reds below 15% alcohol, the Malmont cuvées boast exquisite and enviable freshness.