Wines of The Rhone

I have recently taken delivery of my 2009 en primeur Rhone wines which I purchased back in 2011.  As you can see I bought a couple of Crozes Hermitages and a couple from southern Rhone.

I am really beginning to see the benefit of buying wine in this way. I estimate I am saving about 20/25% on the retail price of these wines which is great. It is a bit of a treadmill though as soon as these are stored away I receive details of the 2010 offer, another brilliant vintage !

I  have been weak-willed again and bought two of my favourites.

Vinsobres Rouge, Domaine Chaume Arnaud

Les Trois Chênes, Domaine Emmanuel Darnaud

That should keep me going for several years to come…

If I had to choose just one region to drink from, it would be the Rhone. It’s affordable, most wines are drinking well after 4/5 years but above all it is easy to understand.

Simplistically, The northern reds are produced using the Syrah grape whilst the south tends to use GSM. Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre.

I really like the southern ones that hail from the AOC villages such as Vacqueyras, Rasteau and Gigondas. They really reflect the terrior more than most. The limestone, the baking soil and the wild vegetation.

The big exception to the grape rule is of course Chateauneuf du Pape. The region is situated 10 miles north of Avignon, it’s where the Popes used to hang out in 14th Century, hence the Pape bit.

In 1308, Pope Clement,  relocated the papacy to Avignon and subsequent Popes  were said to be great lovers of wine. Here is the Palais des Papes in Avignon.

It is often said that you need to spend more than £20.00 for a good Chateauneuf, I believe Robert Parker is responsible as the price of a bottle was gone up four fold since he made his pronouncements.

To me it just seems too complicated, up to 14 different grape varieties are allowed into the mix. Imagine a UK christmas dinner with 14 items on your plate. Some are cold, some are overcooked, some you have forgotten, it’s just too much.

I’ll stick with a more simple mix.

So, in summary keep you eye out for the 2007, 2009 and 2010 vintages.


About Man et Vin

I am a 47 year old living in Nottingham. Maybe, like me, you have become disillusioned by the quality and variety of most wine that is sold in the UK. I am not anti supermarket or wine store but there must be more out there. Please join me on my journey to find decent good value wine. At the same time I want to find out more about storage, availablity and discover some of the lesser known wine growing areas. I have nothing to do with the wine industry, as it happens I am a middle manager in a financial services company.
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