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June 2009

Domaines from Costières de Nimes have been posted. Costières is far and away the most interesting of the four satellite appellations attached to the Rhône, with a terroir south-west of Avignon capable of producing excellent whites (often Roussanne-inspired) and genuine, punchy reds. The roster is topped up by excellent  rosés - really drinkable quaffers - from domaines such as Mourgues du Grès. The occasional small Côtes du Rhône domaine has also been added; these can reflect the trend of young people wanting to exit the local Co-operative, build their own cellar, and make their own wine from trap to line. Hats off to them - they give the region renewed energy and inspiration more often than not. See the appellation tab Rasteaufor the Domaine des Banquettes, for instance.

A review of 25 2008 Tavels and a handful of 2008 Lirac rosés has also been posted. Go to Recent Tastings, and double click on the L-H tab marked Tavel 2007 & 2008. A trio of Lirac domaines likewise appear - the fruit-friendly Domaine Brice Beaumont, the Château Correnson - good rosés - and the accomplished Domaine du Joncier of the artistic Marine Roussel. A somewhat belated but full report on 2006 Northern Rhône has also been posted. See the left hand tab, log in, and click on Leading Wines. Many growers` quotes are included, some of them "in running", as the vintage has developed out of its nappy stage towards post-bottling.