Nicolas Perrin Crozes Hermitage Blanc 2012

Northern Rhone whites are some of the unheralded stars of the wineworld. There’s a good story to this wine, too. Before around 1995, Jaboulet were one of the top producers in the northern Rhône. Something seemed to go wrong after this with the Jaboulet wines, and in 2006 the family sold to the Freys from [...]

Northern Rhone series 15, Dard et Ribo Karriere

Now this is something a bit different. It’s a white Crozes Hermitage from old vine Marsanne on white clay soil. As with all the Dard & Ribo wines, it is made naturally, with no additions. For more on Dard & Ribo, see Bertrand’s article on his Wine Terroirs blog.

Dard et Ribo Crozes Hermitage Blanc Karriere [...]

Northern Rhone series 12, Saint Peray time

Saint-Péray is a tiny appellation in the south of the northern Rhône, consisting of some 62 hectares of vines planted on granite overlaid by limestone, silt and loess soils. It’s a white wine appellation, with the majority of the vines being Marsanne, with a bit of Roussanne and a tiny bit of Roussette. Many of [...]

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 [...]

Northern Rhone series 1, Cave de Tain Hermitage Blanc Au Coeur des Siecles 2007

I have decided to start a short series of posts on the wines of the northern Rhone, a splendid and unique place for growing wine grapes.

Not only is it the home of Syrah, but it also makes great whites, primarily from Marsanne, with some Roussanne also. And that’s not forgetting Viognier, which also has its [...]

Exploring the Hermitage hill

Just back from an amazing mini-trip to the northern Rhone to visit Chapoutier, who are the largest vineyard holders in Hermitage, one of the world’s great wine appellations.

Hermitage is the home of Syrah, but also makes some fabulous white wines, chiefly from Marsanne. But it’s a relatively small appellation, occupying a contiguous block of a [...]

Sweet wine season, 7: Chaupotier Hermitage Vin de Paille 1995

This is quite serious. It’s a sweet white wine made from the Marsanne variety, picked ripe, sorted and then dried on straw mats for two months. The must typically has 350 g/l sugar, and after fermentation it’s pretty sweet, at about the same level as a regular Sauternes, with 100 g/l residual sugar. The wines [...]