Structured, rich, and plump - this has to be one of the best value CNdP on the market at the moment.
"Very dark. Full-on black cherry sweetness. Lots of drive and solid matter. Quite an energetic wine though I wouldn't mind a little more fruit on the mid palate. Clean and bracing anyway." 16.5/20, jancisrobinson.com
Vincent owns 8 hectares in Cornas and St Joseph, he is meticulous in the vineyards and prunes to very low yields creating a gorgeous herbal style of Cornas. A true artist, Vincent has been built up his reputation and his wines are highly sought after.
Lovely soft fruit with spice, plums, herbs and a touch of leather behind. Quite forward in the mouth with soft, ripe tannins, great length and a luscious finish. This is the second wine of Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe.
Has to be one of the best-value most impressive French red wines on the UK market. Special edition made for us by famed Chateauneuf grower Roger Sabon, the wine-maker is esteemed Didier Negron. Charmingly honest, hearty (15%!), herbal, dense and punchy, juicy red from the classic southern varieties of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault & friends. What a beauty, what a bargain. £100 a dozen = £8.33 a bottle.
Although full-bodied the wine has soft tannins and a silky texture - this is the beauty of Southern Rhone reds, ready to enjoy as soon as they're made, unlike Bordeaux or Burgundy. Grenache in this hot sunny heaven gives ripe raspberry and black cherry notes and depth, Syrah gives a classic black pepper spice and dark-chocolate grip. A cool fennel / mint edge and lift.
'Declassified' as Vin de France, but this is not a 'negoce' wine made from bought-in grapes: all the grapes come from Sabon estates, and winemaking is by Didier Negron, as per their top wines.
About Roger Sabon:
Domaine Roger Sabon came into being in 1952 when the family vineyards were split into three distinct entities (the other two being Domaine Chante-Cigale and Clos Mont Olivet).
Robert Parker, who awarded their 1988 vintage a perfect 100 rating, the first Chateauneuf-du-Pape so honoured, has this to say about Domaine Roger Sabon: “This estate has been at the top of its game for many years and any partisan of Rhone Valley wines… who has not yet tried a wine from Domaine Roger Sabon should make every effort to do so... This estate has been making exceptionally high-quality wines for years, but recent vintages seem to have risen to a new level of quality.”
The 2019 Renaissance From Roger Sabon shows distinct aromas of tropical fruit, peach, and ripe pear with a dense, creamy mouthfeel before finishing fresh with echoing flavors of tropical fruit, sweet citrus and a pleasant almond skin finish. This wine is made from the 1 hectare of white varieties that the estate has scattered in their various parcels with sandier and calcareous soils. Each variety is harvested by hand and pressed into a 25HL oak vat for fermentation by indigenous yeasts, after primary fermentation it remains in the same vat until bottling in April after the harvest.
Blend: 35% Roussanne, 30% Grenache Blanc, 20% Clairette, 15% Bourboulenc
Serious "baby Chateauneuf Blanc" from the opposing side of the Rhone, 6 miles from Chateauneuf. Creamy, almost waxy, broad, dense, intense, aromatic, spiced. Almond and toast, apricot and lilies. Quite superb food wine with rich creamy sauces, roast birds, mushrooms, fish and chips. Way out of its class, a jewel and bargain from top Chateauneuf grower Sabon. Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Viognier, Clairette. Minimal sulphur, cool co-ferment, unfined, vines up to 40 years old, declassified vineyard.
Gilles Ferran's entry level Rasteau from the steep sunny slopes that black robed monks used to tend, looking like beetles or 'escaravailles' from a distance.
"Big, robust, plush, and juicy with evident oak too. Still showing some puppy fat, but should come together to be pretty sumptuous in a few years time." AA, Jan 2021
The vineyards for the ‘Petit Ours’ Blanc are planted around the village of Autichamps in Northern Drôme at an altitude of 420 metres, bringing freshness to the finished wine. The soils here are a mixture of clay, silt and sand above hard limestone mother rock. The vines are farmed organically and biodynamically.
A very expressive bouquet of stone fruits and white flowers, which carry through to the palate. This wine has a good intensity of fruit flavours with notes of white peach and pear and a fresh acidity due to the early harvest.
The ‘Petit Ours’ Côtes-du-Rhône, meaning ‘little bear’, is 100% Syrah sourced from vineyards planted on clay and gravel soils surrounding the village of Visan, next to Vinsobres. The vineyards are north-facing and are all farmed organically and worked using biodynamic methods, in keeping with Matthieu’s philosophy.
The wine has a very expressive nose with layers of blackberry and black cherry fruit. The palate has smooth and well-integrated tannins with juicy black fruit and a touch of black pepper on the finish.
Delightful Rhone Rose from the fabulous Clavel estate. Wild Strawberry and grape jelly make this the perfect wine to sip in the sunshine. Provence might be all the rage at the moment but this is every bit as elegant and delicious.
Cracking value Chateauneuf from Chateau Fargueirol, whose single varietal Chateauneufs are rightly praised as some of the most exciting wines from the region. Easy to drink young and made in a fruit forward, accessible Grenache-y style.
JANCISROBINSON.COM 17/20 "Dense, thick, rich, chocolatey. Sweet fruit on the palate, but it lies beneath layers of savoury spice and leathery complexity. Full body, as it should be, with high alcohol on the finish. Basso profundo"
Cracking value Chateauneuf from Chateau Fargueirol, whose single varietal Chateauneufs are rightly priased as some of the most exciting wines from the region. Easy to drink young and made in a fruit forward, accessible Grenachey style.
Chateau Fargueirol is on great form and offers traditional Chateauneuf du Pape at a superb price. Ripe and garriguey nose with impressive concnetration but a nice easy going texture and ripe tannins that means it can be enjoyed young or after 3-10 years of cellaring.
For several generations, the Clavels have run this estate, founded in 1934 on the right bank of the Rhône, whose vast area (80 ha) allows them to offer a wide range of wines. Today, it is Claire who has been at the helm of this organic estate since 2008. Very consistent in quality and best known for its Côtes-du-Rhône and its Saint-Gervais villages. Juicy, fruity and versatile Southern Rhone red from Claire Clavel whose vineyards lie in Saint Gervais, one of the 'Villages' of the Cotes du Rhone.
Laure Dubois runs this excellent estate with her husband Romain and started conversion to organic farming in 2019. The wines they produce are consistently good and elegant, mainly from the Lirac appellation, north West of Chateauneuf-du-Pape but also this Cotes du Rhone from just outside. The 2019 is the second year in a row that the wine has won a coveted Coup de Coeur top award in the Guide Hachette, the 'bible' of French wine. Charming, 'irresistible' and ready to drink it also offers outstanding value for money.
Our favourite Vacqueyras, perfectly cellared for 9 years!
4 stars drinkrhone.com "dark red colour. Warm, encompassing nose, mulled, simmered blueberry and mulberry fruit, smoked bacon, a modern approach. The palate gives a fluid run of rather fat, textured fruit, goes into a well-built finish that is dark, more spiced, makes a statement. Dark fruit and good garrigue expression here. Its tannins are smoother than many Vacqueyras, and it also has more ample breadth. Long wine. From spring 2015. 2023-25" Oct 2013
A blend of 65% Grenache 15% Syrah 15% Mourvedre and a small proportion of white varieties and Cinsault. 30% whole bunches from the old vines Grenache were included in the 2013 blend. All from the fine La Crau vineyard in the Bedarrides commune from vines averaging 60 years old. The grapes are part de-stemmed and after fermentation the wine is aged for ten months in concrete vats followed by ten months in wooden foudres.
This gradually opens up on the nose and the palate is svelte but serious. Wonderful brightness and clarity. Harmonious, self-assured and complex without ever being heavy or cumbersome. The palate offers bright sweet, small sweet berry flavours flecked with minerals, gentler and easier than usual but with a certain gravitas nonetheless and a nice, moreish touch of austerity.
Franck Faugiers 12 hectares of old vine Syrah are planted on the stony, red-clay and sandy soils of Les Châssis, one of the most prized plots of land in all of Crozes-Hermitage. He works his vines as naturally as possible, utilizing Biodynamic farming methods to ensure the health of his soil and plants. From these stony soils, Franck is able to craft expressive, juicy Syrah that drinks with fabulous freshness, complexity and fruit intensity.
This is Gilles Ferran's second Cotes du Rhone which is really a declassified Rasteau for which he is justly renowned.Ripe, flamboyant but alos elegant and fresh Gilles manages to make beautiful wines with real power.
"70% Grenache, 30% Syrah. Very ripe. Juicy and vinous, red fruited. Mellow and creamy on the close." AA, Jan 2021
Some of our favorite Southern Rhônes come from the Rasteau estate of Gilles Ferran, and they always deliver classic Provencal character and concentrated, pleasure-driven personalities. Gilles makes several Côtes du Rhônes (Les Antimagnes, Les Sablieres), a single Roaix (the Syrah-dominated Hautes Granges), two Cairannes (La Boutine and the Le Ventabren), and two Rasteau (La Ponce and the Heritage 1924). We stock most of them at certain times of the year.
"70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Carignan. A wine that is always a bit closed when so young. Serious and earthy, but with well rounded tannins and some plump dark fruit. Wait for at least 3-4 years, will drink well in the next 8-10 years." AA, Jan 2021
The 2018 Red Coudoulet has a beautiful ruby-red colour with shiny reflections and shows a powerful nose with notes of red fruit, spices and “garrigue”. With great finesse, the mouth is full bodied and silky with velvety tannins and fruity, chocolate and thyme aromas. A nice length on the finish.