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Northern Rhône: 2016 and 2017 Reds

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, featured

Josh Raynolds, Sep 2019

The two most recent vintages of bottled reds from the northern Rhône present two quite different faces of Syrah: 2017 full of dark fruit character, power and even opulence, and 2016 with bright, well-defined fruit qualities, distinct freshness and harmonious tannins.

St joseph grippat 1991

Cellar Favorite: 1991 Domaine Jean-Louis Grippat St-Joseph

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Aug 2019

Every now and then you taste a bottle that resonates even more the following day. That is certainly the case with this bottle, generously opened at Noble Rot restaurant for me and sommelier, winemaker and now writer, Rajat Parr.

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2017 and 2018 Northern Rhône

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, featured

Josh Raynolds, Jul 2019

The 2017 vintage in the northern Rhône was marked by unpredictable weather swings, resulting in a short crop of ripe, healthy grapes that produced numerous fruit-forward, highly attractive wines to drink young. Meanwhile, 2018 was another hot year, but the wines show more energy than their 2017 siblings.

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Vacqueyras 2016 and 2015: Value and Consistency

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, featured

Josh Raynolds, Nov 2018

Vacqueyras enjoyed virtually flawless growing seasons in 2016 and 2015 and its producers responded by making wines of consistently high quality. While prices have been steadily rising for current releases from neighboring Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas, pricing for Vacqueyras wines has mostly been holding steady, which is terrific news for wine lovers.

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Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc: 2016 & 2017

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, featured

Josh Raynolds, Oct 2018

White wines are just a drop in the bucket of Châteauneuf-du-Pape production, but that doesn’t mean vignerons don’t give them a lot of love. On the contrary, these are among the most exciting wines being produced in the Rhône Valley today. Three outstanding vintages are now in the market or on deck.

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Cellar Favorite: 1955 Domaine Henri Bonneau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve des Célestins

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Sep 2018

Amongst the constellation of rare bottles that I have tasted over the years, few approach the 1955 Réserve des Célestins from the late Henri Bonneau in terms of an unrepeatable experience at the hands of fermented grape juice. It is a wine that lies on the edge of existence: I have never seen another bottle at auction and have never seen a tasting note. But this bottle appeared without warning at an extraordinary Sunday lunch in West Hampstead, London.

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Cellar Favorite: 1985 Domaine Alain Voge Cornas Les Vieilles Vignes

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Sep 2018

Alain Voge’s star is rising, as is demand. Prices have not quite attained the eye-watering amounts demanded for Verset or Clos Rougeard, but it is just a matter of time. So perhaps it is an opportune moment to look at a mature vintage of the Les Vieilles Vignes, which comes from the oldest Syrah vines, between 25 and 80 years, spread across five lieux-dits, usually with partial whole bunch in the vat and seeing a modest 20% new oak. Alain Voge took over the domaine after the sudden passing of his father, Louis, in 1965 and introduced this cuvée in the 1970s, while current co-owner and winemaker Albéric Mazoyer has been in charge since 2004.

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2016 Gigondas – A Slam Dunk

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, featured

Josh Raynolds, Aug 2018

Two thousand sixteen in Gigondas, as in the rest of the southern Rhône, experienced a growing season for the record books, yet again – producing expressive, intense, fruit-driven wines of often profound depth as well as energy.

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2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape: The Beat Goes On

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, featured

Josh Raynolds, Jul 2018

Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s monumental 2015 vintage was a tough act to follow, but 2016 was up to the challenge. In fact, in many cases the wines from this uniformly outstanding warm year actually outclass – or at least outmuscle – their older siblings.

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Cellar Favorite: 1988 Domaine Gentaz-Dervieux Côte-Rôtie Côte Brune

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Jul 2018

The Rhône is not my specialty, but that does not preclude me from enjoying its wines. Indeed, some of the greatest bottles I have ever drunk have hailed not from Bordeaux or Burgundy, but the Rhône. This Cellar Favorite focuses on a bygone producer shrouded in mystique, a producer whose wines are now some of the most sought after in the world and with prices to match: Domaine Gentaz-Dervieux.