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ENTERED RECENTLY: more NORTHERN RHÔNE domaine visits, in the shape of CHRISTOPHE PICHON at CONDRIEU, helped now by his first two sons; while at CÔTE-RÔTIE, the excellent DOMAINE GARON, given impetus by the sons, and the also promising, improving DOMAINE FRANÇOIS & XAVIER GÉRARD, with son Xavier raising the game, able to work full-time, as opposed to his father, who retires soon from his bank job.

From SAINT-JOSEPH a visit to DOMAINE DU MONTEILLET to see the Wild Child STÉPHANE MONTEZ who has built a socking large new tasting room and storage cellar with a large glass-fronted view of the River. He also makes good CONDRIEU and CÔTE-RÔTIE, wines that take time to come together.

From the SOUTHERN RHÔNE, some of the better 2011 WHITE CÔTES-DU-RHÔNES after a tasting of 77 of them. See 2011 SOUTHERN RHÔNE, THE LEADING WINES.

Visits about to occur include HERMITAGE growers such as CHAVE, DELAS, BERNARD FAURIE, MARC SORRELGRAILLOT at CROZES-HERMITAGE and CLAPE at CORNAS. I will also be rounding off a tasting of 500 CÔTES-DU-RHÔNE and VILLAGES REDS from 2010 and 2011.