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Southern Rhône

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  • 105. Ventoux AC 2015

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    Martinelle

    70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 5% Carignan, 5% Cinsault (14.5% alc)

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    This is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, or more accurately a Rhône-Villages from Beaumes de Venise reclassified after the war as a Ventoux. It is a rich, supple, very well balanced wine with hints of liquorice, spice, garrigue herbs nicely cut through by the tempering influence you tend to find on limestone. For drinking now to 2019.

  • 106. Vin de France AC 2015 Les Grands Chemins

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    Domaine Roucas Toumba

    55% Grenache, 25% Carignan, 10% Syrah (14%)

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    A slightly more serious wine than the Pichot Roucas above, given a longer cuvaison and cuve aged. Eric has cut back on the syrah here, so it’s a more classic southern mix from old vines. There is good depth to the fruit, nice spice behind and real freshness on the finish. Unfined and unfiltered. Very honest, characterful wine that is superb value for money. For drinking now to 2021

  • 107. Côtes-du-Rhône AC 2014, Vieilles Vignes

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    Domaine de Ferrand

    90% Grenache, 7% Syrah, 3% Cinsault (14% alc.)

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    Côtes-du-Rhône from a good Châteauneuf estate is always a great bargain. Philippe Bravay selects this wine from the best sites and 50 year old vines. The 2014 is a good vintage – destalked 80%, it is really spicy and has a touch of game on the nose, with beautifully composed fruit, plenty of character and complexity. For drinking now to 2021.

  • 108. Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc AC 2017

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    Domaine Charvin

    45% Bourbolenc, 25% Clairette, 20% Roussanne, 10% Grenache Blanc (13%.alc)

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    Attractive easy drinking, this cuve aged wine has a quiet charm, with peach and a hint of citrus, a little spice, with a supple sudiste expression and saline twist on the finish. For drinking now to 2019.

  • 109. Côtes-du-Rhône AC 2015

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    Domaine Charvin

    81% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre, 4% Carignan (14% alc.)

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    37.5cl (2015) Log in to view prices

    This wine is given just the same care as Charvin’s Châteauneuf. There is a 20 day cuvaison with no destemming before 16 months in cuve prior to bottling without filtration. The 2015 is another excellent example with rich, complex fruit and a spicy, natural, unforced quality. For drinking now to 2025.

  • 110. Côtes-du-Vivarais AC 2015

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    Domaine Gallety

    50% Grenache, 50% Syrah (14% alc.)

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    Gallety are the leading producers in this tiny appellation at the northern end of the southern Rhône. The days and nights here are cooler which helps capture a little more freshness. There is a good, iron-rich, limestone-derived soil that may help to convey freshness and acidity. This cuvée comes from 40yo massale selection yielding 25hh. Aged in 1-4yo barrels for 15 months, the wine offers ripe blackberry fruit, with black olives, graphite, herbs, spice, tobacco, good acidity, a mineral vibrancy and fine tannins. For drinking now to 2022.

  • 111. Vinsobres AC 2012, Emile

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    Domaine la Péquélette

    75% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, 10% Syrah, 5% Carignan (14.5% alc.)

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    Péquélette is a tiny eight hectare estate, run bio-dynamically at a cooler 350m altitude necessitating late harvests. Yields are extremely low at 18hh from 50 to 90 year old vines. Cuve aged for two years, it has a delectable, very pure black cherry, raspberry, liquorice and cinnamon flecked fruit, old vine framework, and fine tannins with a cleansing, saline note on the finish.  Very digestible style.  For drinking now to 2018.

  • 112. Rasteau Vin Doux Naturel AC 2016

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    Domaine du Trapadis

    90% Grenache, 10% Carignan (15.5% alc, 100g/l of rs)

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    This is a fine VDN with cigar leaf, raisin, prune and fig flavours typical of the grenache. Delicious with rich chocolate desserts. For drinking now to 2022.

  • 113. Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc AC 2016 2eme Né(z)

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    Domaine la Luminaille

    50% Clairette, 40% Marsanne, 10% Bourbolenc (13% alc.)

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    30yo vines here planted on clay based terraces near the forest of Rasteau at 350m altitude where it is a little cooler and more humid. Cuve aged, the malos didn’t take place (but were not blocked), and so the wine has surprising freshness, is zesty and zingy, with pear and freshly cut apple fruits with a hint of provencal herbs on the finish. Total sulphur of only 30mg/l.  For drinking now to 2019.

  • 114. Cotes du Rhone Blanc AC 2016 1er Né(z)

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    Domaine la Luminaille

    100% Marsanne (13.5% alc.)

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    This wine comes from 30yo vines, planted on a south-west slope close to the forest in limestone, clay and sand. Aged in older demi-muids, and given one day’s skin contact for a little extra texture, it offers nicely defined orange and peach fruits with a touch of pear skin(it feels very close to the fresh cut grapes) with an attractive salinity, and some food friendly bitters on the finish.  For drinking now to 2020.

  • 115. Rasteau Rouge AC 2016 2eme Né(z)

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    Domaine la Luminaille

    34% Grenache, 33% Carignan, 33% Syrah (14% alc.)

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    The objective here was to make a cuve aged wine with local character, good fruits and elegance, not a concentrated wine that would demand too much bottle age. There is attractive, clear-cut cherry and raspberry fruit, some liquorice, spice and Provence herbs, all with a very digeste quality. For drinking now to 2020.

  • 116. Rasteau Vin Doux Naturel AC 2016 Grenat

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    Domaine la Luminaille

    90% Grenache, 10% Carignan (15% alc, 90g/l of rs)

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    A very delicately extracted example, much paler in colour than the VDN from Trapadis. Cuve aged, it offers cherry/blackberry fruit with a hint of menthol and spice, and is light on its feet with a digeste quality, very fine tannins and clear-cut on the finish. For drinking now to 2021.For drinking now to 2021.

  • 117. Cairanne Rouge CDR-Villages AC 2014, Réserve des Seigneurs

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    Domaine de l’Oratoire Saint-Martin

    60% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 10% Syrah (14.5% alc.)

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    The Alary brothers believe that a good proportion of mourvèdre (30% here from old vines on a south facing hillside) is vital both to temper the power and complement the grenache. From the very pure fruited, well balanced 2014 vintage it offers attractive dark cherry fruit and spice with good length on the palate, and for a southern Rhone is notably fresh and easy to drink. Low sulphur. For drinking now to 2020.  

  • 118. Cairanne CDR-Villages AC 2011, Les Douyes

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    Domaine de l’Oratoire Saint-Martin

    60% Grenache, 40% Mourvèdre (14.5% alc.)

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    This is the domaine’s top unoaked cuvée, from vines aged up to 99 years, yielding on average just 18hh. It offers a good depth of characterful, spicy red fruit, liquorice and a hint of thyme and freshly milled black pepper. For drinking now to 2019+.

  • 119. Vacqueyras AC 2016, Les Prémices

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    Domaine Roucas Toumba

    20% Marsanne, 17% Roussanne, 16% Clairette, 15% Grenache Gris, 14% Viognier, 14% Vermentino, 4% Picpoul/Picardan/Carignan blanc (14% alc.)

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    Eric has just 0.85 hectare of massale selected white grapes, and whilst the vineyard is relatively young, his yields are just 16hh. He also harvests at 7am in the morning to preserve freshness. Aged for one year in two to four year old barrels, the wine is complex and dense but has retained an integral freshness and balance, with intriguing aromas of white fruits and flowers. For drinking now to 2022.

  • 120. Vacqueyras AC 2016, La Grande Terre

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    Domaine Roucas Toumba

    60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 20% Mourvèdre (14% alc.)

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    This is a single parcel of 55yo grenache and 30yo syrah and mourvèdre. Whilst the old vine Restanques needs a little more bottle age, this is a cuve aged Vacqueyras with beautiful fruit, accessible in its youth. A mid-cherry colour, it has smoky and maraschino cherry notes on the nose and delectable fruit on the palate with cherry, liquorice, cinnamon, nutmeg and garrigues herbs. For drinking now to 2022.

  • 121. Vacqueyras AC 2014, Les Restanques de Cabassole

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    Domaine Roucas Toumba

    60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, 5% Viognier/Clairette/Grenache Blanc (15% alc.)

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    Old vine grenache (60-80 years old) two thirds destalked is the heart of this excellent wine. It has a beautiful deep plum colour, and a fresh black cherry nose intermingled with violets, thyme, ink and smoke. On the palate the wine is rich but freshened by a discreet minerality, with liquorice nuances of violet zan (french sweet!), dark chocolate and menthol supported by old vine tannins. For drinking now to 2023.

  • 122. Gigondas AC 2015

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    Domaine du Grapillon d’Or

    80% Grenache, 20% Syrah (14.5% alc.)

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    This comes from the windy, sun drenched hillsides of the Dentelles de Montmirail. It is a really well controlled Gigondas with hints of thyme/rosemary and game on the nose, supple black cherry fruit, spice, liquorice and mocha on the palate, with a nice freshness and well-integrated tannins. For drinking now to 2021+.

  • 123. Châteauneuf-du-Pape AC 2014

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    Domaine de la Biscarelle

    80% Grenache, 20% total of Mourvèdre, Carignan, Cinsault, Syrah, Counoise (14.5% alc.)

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    Jérôme Grieco’s CNDP comes from old vines in a mix of limestone-clay, deep red clays and typical ‘galets roulés’ river stones. He aims to produce an authentic but easily drinkable wine, and so this is a wine blessed by clarity of fruit expression and none of the souped up sweetness so prevalent in CNDP today. Cuve aged, it offers a mix of spicy red and black fruits, touch of menthol and garrigues herbs, and a long finish featuring fine grained tannins. For drinking now to 2023+.

  • 124. Châteauneuf-du-Pape AC 2015, Les Anglaises

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    Domaine de la Biscarelle

    100% Grenache (15% alc.)

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    Jérôme Grieco’s top cuvée of CNDP comes from 76yo old vines planted in sandy soils on a north facing hillside towards Orange. Not destalked and cuve aged, it has an excellent dark cherry colour that extends right out to the edge, is denser and has more matter than the normal cuvée, liquorice, menthol and clove notes on the palate, and has a long sustained finish and perfectly judged tannins. For drinking now to 2024+.

  • 125. Châteauneuf-du-Pape AC 2012

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    Domaine de Ferrand

    95% Grenache, 5% Mourvèdre/Cinsault/Syrah (15% alc.)

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    Yields are tiny (20hh) from 90 year old vines. Since 2010 he’s kept 50% of the whole bunches for the fermentation which helps to give a better framework for the wine and adds an extra note of spice and complexity. The 2012 is a fine effort exuding black fruits, liquorice and spice, with a touch of provençal herbs evocative of these limestone hillsides. For drinking now to 2021+.

  • 126. Châteauneuf-du-Pape AC 2013

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    Domaine Charvin

    82% Grenache, 8% Syrah, 5% Vaccarèse, 5%Mourvèdre (15% alc.)

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    37.5cl Log in to view prices
    150cl (2014) Log in to view prices

    The over-riding impression with the 2013 is one of harmony, a natural wine emanating from superb work in the vineyard and the least possible intervention and work on the wine back in the cave. It has spicy, chewy cherry fruit, a hint of thyme and is rich, long, but always fresh with a touch of minerality on the finish reflecting the lime-rich soils. For drinking now to 2025+.