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2010: A BREATHTAKING VINTAGE FOR THE NORTHERN RHÔNE, THE SOUTHERN RHÔNE, AND THEIR WHITES

A LOOK BACK OVER THE FIRST TWO DECADES OF THE MILLENNIUM

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

THE NORTH, THE SOUTH AND THEIR WHITES

With a mostly healthy and abundant harvest safely gathered in for 2020, the third decade of the millennium is up and running. It’s a good time to cast a look back over the first two decades, to gauge quality in runs of 10 years. Which was the better decade? Here are some selected years – subscribers can find the full review of the 20 vintages under the VINTAGE REPORTS tab.

2000  A mild vintage, soft tannins, approachable wines, aromatic in the NORTH; correct in the SOUTH, but a large crop diluted some of the REDs. There is less style in the fruit than 1999. It’s a vintage short on real stars, a slippers beside the fireplace year.

N RHÔNE 6 S RHÔNE 6 WHITES 7

2005  Chunky, tannin-laden year, on the wild side, dark colours, energy, boom. Wines of character, demanding cellar time, can be stubborn. Not for the boulevardier consumer, more for the philosopher, probably a Nordic such as KIERKEGAARD. Still making their way. Decanting essential. High intervention winemaking - in pursuit of 100 points - in the SOUTH means the NORTH shades it. Firm WHITEs, capable of longevity.

NR 9 SR 8 WHITES 7

2014  Pests and flies, and rot, but you know what – there are some very pretty wines, so while most amateurs of body building felt cheated, I felt happy. Beautiful fruit in the best REDs, a serenade from CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE CLOS DES PAPES, for example, and great, shapely WHITEs. A classic vintage – still – for la table, relaxed moments, Glou Glou on the go.

NR 6 SR 6 WHITES 8

2015  A mighty year in the NORTH, with large scale, abundant REDs, dazzling depth, heft in the tannins. The SYRAHs have tightened up recently, and must be left alone for another five years. It’s a quieter vintage in the SOUTH, where late rain, followed by MISTRAL wind, came in early September to nourish the vines. Slow ripening, high degree GRENACHE, excellent MOURVÈDRE. Extraction in the cellar was a punishable offence. There is freshness, with tannins a little dry here and there, robust packing in the REDs.

NR 9 SR 7 WHITES 8

The challenge for the wines of the 2020s centres on two essential words and one desirable word:

BALANCE, FRESHNESS, PERSONALITY.

BONNE DÉGUSTATION TO ALL

Goings-on

2020: THE FIRST STIRRINGS OF THE DECADE > >

MARCHÉ AUX VINS D’AMPUIS AMPUIS, FRIDAY 17 JANUARY – MONDAY 20 JANUARY, 2020 SALLE POLYVALENTE  ALLÉE DU CHÂTEAU  69420 AMPUIS The usual bun fight at what is the Rhône’s most crowded event. 60 domaines will be showing their wines, . . . . .

SUMMER 2018 EVENTS ACROSS THE RHÔNE > >

SUNDAY 20 MAY, 2018 • BALADE GOURMANDE DES TERROIRS, VINSOBRES A WALK THROUGH THE VINEYARDS, WITH A MARKET FOR LOCAL PRODUCE IN THE SALLE DES FÊTES, THE VILLAGE HALL, OF VINSOBRES. FROM 15.00. CONTACT CHRISTELLE MAGNARD +33(0)9 61 59 . . . . .

LATE SUMMER EVENTS ACROSS THE RHÔNE > >

With music, cultural and food and wine festivals going on during the summer months, here is a selection of some that might appeal to readers if you are in the Rhône Valley during August and September, . . . . .

More going-ons > >

Latest tasting notes

LA BASTIDE SAINT DOMINIQUE - Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Bastide Saint Dominique Les Hespèrides red - 2019-
(vat/casks) dark robe; the bouquet has a firm intensity, no chinks of light in its compact black-fruited, oxtail-like aroma, carries a . . . .
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LA BASTIDE SAINT DOMINIQUE - Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Bastide Saint Dominique Secrets de Pignan Vieilles Vignes red - 2019- ()
(vat) has a dark intensity robe; the bouquet is replete with prune, ripe black fruits, notes of crushed nutshells, hay, grasses, . . . .
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LA BASTIDE SAINT DOMINIQUE - Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Bastide Saint Dominique red - 2019- ()
(vat) dark red colour; the bouquet gives a sweet-tined aroma of blackberry, ripe blueberry, a note of raspberry. It’s young, well-fruited, . . . .
read more > >