rhone

Rhône

While we may refer to the Rhône Valley as if it were one region, it is in reality two - the Northern Rhône and the Southern Rhône. They are quite distinct in character in almost every respect, and are indeed separated by a good hour's motorway driving. In the north, the climate more closely resembles that of Burgundy; other aspects are also similar - there are a great many small producers, working alongside a handful of famous négociants (best known are Chapoutier and Guigal). In addition, the wines of the north are made largely from a single grape variety (Syrah for all the reds; Viognier for Condrieu; and Roussanne and Marsanne for the other white appellations).

In the south, the climate is markedly hotter, bearing a much closer resemblance to the Languedoc and other distinctively Mediterranean regions. The wines are mostly blended from a number of varieties - as many as thirteen in the case of Châteauneuf du Pape. The whole character of the south, with its heat, wind (Mistral) and dust conjours up an atmosphere much more akin to the Mediterranean basin than to northern Europe. Châteauneuf itself, dominated by the ruins of the great medieval papal fortress, epitomises this in every respect. In both north and south, we concentrate largely on the wines of individual domaines, where we believe the most distinctive styles are made.


Red

 
 
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Domaine de l'Ameillaud

Since 1983 this 50 hectare estate has been run by Devonian Nick Thompson together with his wife Sabine, grand-daughter of the estate’s founder, Albert Rieu.  All the fruit is hand-picked and then de-stemmed prior to fermentation in concrete vats (now increasingly back in fashion).  This is a terrific source of extremely well made and remarkably inexpensive wines which represent outstanding value for money.  The domaine's buildings, just outside the village of Cairanne, are most attractive, and include two newly restored and very comfortable looking gîtes which are let to visitors.

 
Ameillaud 3
2012 Vin de Pays de Vaucluse, Domaine l'Ameillaud
 2014-2022
 12 Bottles
£57.50
£99.00
A blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Carignan and 10% Syrah. Very deep colour. Lovely ripe strawberry fruit, really vibrant on the palate. Juicy, balanced and long. 

Château de Beaucastel

The website for Château de Beaucastel can be found at http://www.beaucastel.com

 
image domain
2017 Châteauneuf du Pape Rouge, Château de Beaucastel x 6
 2022-2033
 6 Bottles
£240.00
£304.20
 

Brunier

2017 Gigondas Les Racines, Domaine Les Pallières, Famille Brunier x 6
 2021-2027
 6 Bottles
£111.00
£149.40
 

Domaine du Cayron

Michel Faraud and his daughters Delphine, Cendrine and Roseline produce just one wine from their 14 hectares of vines – and it is surely one of the most outstanding wines of the village of Gigondas.  Everything is done the old way – most particularly the pressing (the old vertical press is still very much in use) and the ageing in large oak foudres (although those more than 50 years old are finally being replaced with new ones).

 
Cayron cellar 1
2015 Gigondas, Domaine du Cayron
 2017-2022
 12 Bottles
£236.50
£315.00
Very deep ruby colour. Intense dark fruit scents. Sweet and ripe on the front of the palate, with lovely ripe structure, fine tannins and very good length.  

Chapoutier

M. Chapoutier is one of the greatest producers in the entire Rhône valley, and indeed this esteemed house regularly makes wines which compete with the best made anywhere in the world. Chapoutier’s wines consistently achieve an exceptional degree of terroir expression along with compelling richness and finesse; the result of outstanding old-vine vineyard sites producing tiny yields of exceptional fruit (in a typical year production ranges between only 100-700 cases of each of the famous 'Sélections Parcellaires'), combined with the expert application of biodynamic techniques in the vineyard and highly skilled, highly sensitive winemaking. Every wine is a triumph.

 
Chapoutier
2014 Ermitage Rouge Le Méal, Chapoutier x 6
 2019-2039
 6 Bottles
£455.00
£562.20
"Another inky colored wine that has a touch of blue at the rim, the 2014 Ermitage Le Méal offers a liqueur of blackberry-like perfume to go with lots of wood smoke (it sees a scant 25% new oak), licorice, smoked herbs and black raspberries. Big, rich, full-bodied and layered with plenty of building tannin, it will be a candidate for 2-4 years of cellaring and drink well over the following two decades. 95-97+" Jeb Dunnuck in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate #222 
2014 Ermitage Rouge Le Pavillon, Chapoutier x 6
 2019-2049
 6 Bottles
£687.00
£840.00
"Both the Pavillon and l’Ermite see a touch more new oak, with the wine aged 18 months in 30% new French oak barrels. The 2014 Ermitage le Pavillon will without a doubt be one of the top two to three wines in the vintage; it offers an incredibly granite character in its burning embers, graphite, crème de cassis and campfire-like bouquet. Big, concentrated, full-bodied, thick and yet still with the always present hedonistic slant of this cuvee, it will need 4-5 years of cellaring and have three or more decades of longevity. 96-98" Jeb Dunnuck in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate #222 
2014 Ermitage Rouge L'Ermite, Chapoutier x 6
 2022-2052
 6 Bottles
£817.00
£996.00
"The 2014 Ermitage l’Ermite is almost painfully backwards and tight, with a liquid rock-like character permeating its lead pencil, beef blood/iodine, liquid violets, and black and blue fruits. Possessing more concentration and depth than just about every other wine I was able to taste in the vintage, this full-bodied, structured, backwards beast of an Hermitage will need 5-7 years of cellaring and keep for three decades. 96-98+" Jeb Dunnuck in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate #222 

Domaine Michel & Stéphane Ogier

2012 Côte Rôtie, Domaine M & S Ogier d'Ampuis
 2016-2028
 12 Bottles
£395.00
£504.00
"Ogier owns a number of parcels (15 to be exact) spread throughout the appellation. Coming from a blend of terroirs, the 2012 Cote Rotie Classique possesses a knockout bouquet of white pepper, blackberry, leather, and hints of game. This flows to a medium to full-bodied, elegant and finesse-driven effort that has vibrant acidity, excellent mid-palate depth and fine tannin. It should round into form with a handful of years in the cellar and evolve gracefully for 10-15 years. 90-93" Jeb Dunnuck in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate #210 
2013 Côte Rôtie, Domaine M & S Ogier d'Ampuis
 2017-2024
 12 Bottles
£395.00
£504.00
"...terrific notes of white pepper, ground herbs, dark fruits, game and distinct minerality. It’s medium to full-bodied, has a textured, full mid-palate, integrated acidity and beautiful sweetness to its tannin, all suggesting it should evolve nicely. 89-92" Jeb Dunnock in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate #216 

Domaine René Rostaing

René’s son Pierre is beginning to spend more of his time at the domaine, working alongside his father to ensure the continuity of style and quality.  One of the very greatest producers of Côte Rôtie, we are extremely privileged to receive an allocation of these outstanding wines.  René is a true craftsman, with a skill to fashion some of the most subtle wines of the appellation.  In old age, they take on an almost Burgundian aspect, such is their elegance and refinement.

 
Rene Rostaing 1
2010 Côte Rôtie Ampodium (Classique), Domaine René Rostaing x 6
 2015-2025
 6 Bottles
£330.00
£412.50
 
2013 Côte Rôtie Ampodium (Classique), Domaine René Rostaing
 2016-2023
 12 Bottles
£430.00
£546.00
 
2016 Côte Rôtie Ampodium (Classique), Domaine René Rostaing
 2019-2026
 12 Bottles
£548.00
£690.00
 
2017 Côte Rôtie Ampodium (Classique), Domaine René Rostaing
 2020-2027
 12 Bottles
£480.00
£608.40
 
2018 Côte Rôtie Ampodium (Classique), Domaine René Rostaing
 2021-2028
 12 Bottles
£480.00
TBA
 

Domaine Jean Paul Versino

Jean Versino founded this domaine in 1955, and his son, Jean-Paul, has built on his father’s work, establishing a name for himself as one of the best producers in Châteauneuf.  There are many different parcels of vines - some 27 in all - covering the four main grape varieties (Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Cinsault), as well as the many differing terroirs of the appellation.  They add up to about 16 hectares in total, with the whole production aged in oak, mostly very large foudres, from which the wine is bottled after 18 months to 2 years ageing.

 
Versino cellar 1
2018 Châteauneuf du Pape Rouge, Domaine Jean-Paul Versino
 
 12 Bottles
£228.00
TBA
 

Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe

 
image domain
2016 Châteauneuf du Pape Rouge, Le Crau, Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe x 6
 2020-2027
 6 Bottles
£230.00
£342.00
 
2017 Châteauneuf du Pape Rouge, Le Crau, Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe x 6
 2021-2028
 6 Bottles
£259.50
£327.60
 
2018 Châteauneuf du Pape Rouge, Le Crau, Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe x 6
 2022-2029
 6 Bottles
£210.00
TBA
 

White

 
 
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Château de Beaucastel

The website for Château de Beaucastel can be found at http://www.beaucastel.com

 
image domain
2017 Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc, Château de Beaucastel x 6
 2019-2022
 6 Bottles
£240.00
£304.20
 

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