Northern Rhone series 10, Georges Vernay Condrieu

We’re heading to Condrieu for episode 10 in the northern Rhone series. It’s an appellation that’s a bit of an outlier in the region, but it adds some welcome diversity. Viognier is the grape here: recently fashionable, as evidenced by the growth of the appellation. Back in1965 there were just 8 ha (that’s all the [...]

Northern Rhone series 9, Delas Les Challeys St Joseph

Continuing my northern Rhone series, I’m sticking with St Joseph. It’s an appellation with a reputation for inconsistency, but there are clearly some very good terroirs here. This is a cracking wine: fresh, natural, bright and edgy. Delas are a negociant who seem to be on good form at the moment.

Delas Freres St Joseph ‘Les [...]

Video: tasting two Viogniers

So here’s another short film of me tasting two Viogniers: Georges Vernay Condrieu 2008 (£36.75 Yapp) and Bellingham The Bernard Series Viognier 2010 (£11.99).

Northern Rhone series 8, Tardieu Laurent St Joseph

Continuing with the northern Rhone series, and the third in a run of St Josephs, this time from superstar negociant Tardieu-Laurent. Originally involving Dominique Laurent, this firm is now run exclusively by the Tardieu family, under the guidance of Michel Tardieu. They source wines from across the Rhone and Languedoc, usually from old vines, and [...]

Northern Rhone series, 7, Coursodon Silice St Joseph 2007

The Northern Rhone journey continues. Sticking with St Joseph, an appellation with some excellent terroirs as well as some poorer ones, we move to a superb example from 2007.

This is one of those Syrahs that, with real elegance, begin to taste a bit like fine Burgundies. It’s from old vines on granitic slopes, and relatively [...]

Northern Rhone series 6, Gilles Barge Clos des Martinets St Joseph 2001

I don’t make whole-case purchases all that often. Usually I find that 12 of a particular wine is a little too much. 6 is usually better. But this is the last bottle of a case purchase I made that I was very pleased with. I’ve just looked up my report on the tasting at Bibendum [...]

Northern Rhone series 5, Jamet Cote Rotie 1999

This wine is a favourite of mine, and I’ve drunk it on perhaps a dozen occasions. Well stored bottles, like this one, are really singing now, but there’s no hurry to drink it up. We enjoyed it last night at a family gathering at my brother-in-law’s place. He had the wisdom to buy two cases [...]

Northern Rhone series 4, Jean Luc Colombo Gravieres Crozes Hermitage

I admit to not having been a great fan of Jean-Luc Colombo in the past. His wines have seemed slightly too polished and modern, lacking the raw essence of northern Rhone Syrah at its edgy best. But this is one I like. Perhaps it is the vintage?

Jean-Luc Colombo Les Gravieres Crozes Hermitage 2008 Northern Rhone
From [...]

Northern Rhone series 3, 1967 Hermitage

So after two white Hermitage wines, we’re heading to Syrah, but sticking with the Hermitage hill. This wine is very interesting. It was a gift from Richard Kelley MW, who’d bought a few bottles at auction, and knew it was my birth year.

Now 1967 is not a great birth year for wines. I don’t have [...]

Northern Rhone series 2, Chapoutier Chante Alouette Hermitage Blanc 2007

Continuing my exploration of the Northern Rhone, wine number two is also a white Hermitage. It may seem an odd choice. Shouldn’t I have gone to Syrah? But I want to make a point. White Hermitage is serious stuff, but it doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.

M Chapoutier Chante-Alouette Hermitage Blanc 2007
Beautifully aromatic, this is [...]