Everything Wine And More

Ruth Blakely
 
January 19, 2019 | Ruth Blakely

Wines of the Rhone Valley

Winter – the Perfect Time for Wines from the Rhone

The Rhone valley in Southern France is one of our favourite regions here at Everything Wine and More. The full bodied multi-layered wines pair perfectly with a winter stew or a nice roast.

The Rhone is divided into North and South.

The north is dominated by Syrah, the rich blackberry, clove and pepper finish shows exceptionally well in the premier wines of Cote-Rotie. Producers such as Guigal and Cuilleron (among many others) make wine that show both power and elegance. While some can be consumed young, many really shine after years in the bottle. If you are drinking your Cote-Rotie young it will improve with decanting and something meaty to pair. 

Also from the north comes the rich black pepper and smoked meat aromas from the stunning Cornas. The region itself is very small but it produces some of the ‘biggest’ wines in the Rhone. Cornas is known for grippy tannin and is another wine that is at its best after some time in the bottle.

Affordable ($40 and under)  tasty options from nearby Crozes-Hermitage are a great introduction to the region.

White wine lovers have much to celebrate in the northern Rhone as well as it’s the home to Condrieu, arguably the best expression of Viogner anywhere in the world. The tropical fruit aromas play well with a hint of citrus and some will find gingerbread and allspice. Keep these in mind for upcoming Easter dinner. 

In the hotter south Grenache is dominant. From the well-priced Cotes-du-Rhone to the powerful Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Grenache is king of this sometimes underappreciated region. In Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the Grenache is blended with Mouvedre to give it structure, Cinsault for bouquet and more than a dozen other grapes producing a bold, well-balanced wine. Look for Beaucastel at the top of the market, but there are dozens of other excellent producers in the region. Cotes-du-Rhone is a bargain hunter’s dream.

The whites in the south are most often Rousanne and Marsanne. Often blended together the fatty rich mouth-feel of the Marsanne is well balanced by the more acidic and elegant Rousanne. The wines are medium bodied and often exhibit apricot and mandarin notes.

The next time you think of French wine – think Rhone!

Time Posted: Jan 19, 2019 at 8:09 AM
Cart 0 items: $0.00
Your Account  |  Log In