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A Bastien of the new Rhône Generation
19 September 2019

Fresh from the Rhône last week, I can happily report the place is in rude health. The North, in particular, has become a bustling hub of activity in recent years. A generation of exciting, young wine-making talent is beginning to make the most out of their incredible patrimony. The terrain is rugged and unforgiving but the sheer vineyards, the poor granitic and schistous soils and the wealth of old vines can make for some brilliant wines of identity and class.

Nowhere demonstrates the state of the Northern Rhône better than St Joseph. In the original parts of the region, in the south around Mauves, Tournon and St Jean de Muzols there is some exceptional terroir and a whole host of budding young vignerons attempting to get the best out of it. Yet the wines are not well-known and are under-valued as a result - partially because of St Joseph’s confusing and over-stretched vineyard expansion, partly because of the Rhône becoming unfashionable. Happy days, at least, for those who like drinking stylish wines of spirit and a sense of place without breaking the bank. The situation is astonishing, really, considering the small production and high level of quality being attained. We don’t think it can stay this underappreciated for long.

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