Northern Rhone series 17, Chapoutier Petite Ruche Crozes Hermitage 2009

Now this I like. It’s just been listed by Waitrose at a very good price (£12.99), and it’s quite a serious expression of Crozes-Hermitage in a somewhat modern style. I get a lot of samples, but this is one that got drunk, rather than just tasted.

Chapoutier Petite Ruche Crozes Hermitage 2009 Northern Rhone, France
13% alcohol. [...]

Northern Rhone series 16, Domaine Clape Cornas Renaissance

Hmmm, I’m enjoying this Northern Rhone series. A chance to drink some wonderful wines. Here’s the latest: it’s a Cornas from Clape, but it isn’t at all rustic. Some people still characterize Cornas as producing rather stern, rustic wines, but I don’t think this is the case any more. It’s a serious appellation.

The Clape family [...]

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 14, Cote Rotie, Cornas and Hermitage at Twickenham

Worry ye not. This wine blog is not turning into a sports blog, although you’d be forgiven for thinking so. It has been a sport-filled summer.

On Saturday I was invited to the Twickenham double-header by Inter Rhone, one of the sponsors. The double-header is a smart idea. Two premiership rugby games are played back to [...]

Northern Rhone series 13, Jaboulet Thalabert 1985 and cricket

Great day today. It was Wine Trade vs Further Friars, down at Keevil in Wiltshire, on a perfect late summer’s day.

The game was great – more on that later – and ended perfectly with Jasper Morris MW, one of the Friars, bringing out a magnum of Jaboulet’s Thalabert Croze Hermitage, in the 1985. We drank [...]

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 11, Tardieu Laurent Cornas Coteaux

My second visit to Tardieu Laurent in this northern Rhone series (previously here). This is a really impressive interpretation of Cornas, an excellent appellation that sometimes gets a bad press (it’s often described as ‘rustic’, which is perjorative, I feel).

Tardieu Laurent Cornas ‘Coteaux’ 2008
13% alcohol. Vibrant fresh black cherry and blackberry fruit here with [...]

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 [...]

At the cricket, followed by Crozes

Had a very enjoyable evening at the Oval, watching Surrey vs. Northants in the Clydesdale Bank 40 Over competition. It was the first time I’ve watched one of these day/night games where floodlights are used.

It was a really good game of cricket. I was sitting with Roger Hamilton-Brown, father of the Surrey captain Rory, who [...]