Posts with the label "barroche"


Rhone 2017 - A tale of the unexpected

Rhone 2017 - A tale of the unexpected

Thursday 25th October 2018
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

During a week of bounding up and down the Rhone valley I have tasted some truly delicious wines. My focus has been on 2017s from barrel but I have also been tasting 2016s and 2015s from bottle. 

Before I launch into the many surprises 2017 sprung on me, a word on 2015 Chateauneufs. These are in a very good place right now and it is clearly a superbly-balanced vintage, they may well go into the shut-down phase that most Chateauneufs do but right now they are a joy and what’s more they show the harmony to suggest excellent ageing potential, it can genuinely be considered a great year in the South. People may remember France being bathed  in sunshine throughout 2015 but in the Southern Rhône it was not too much of a heat-wave vintage, there was a little more rain and ensuing cooler temperatures than further north.  The results were wines of great allure, roundness and charm. For sure richer than a “cool” style vintage but less alcoholic than other hallowed years like 2016 and 2007, for example. If you missed these at the time, then don’t hesitate to snap up 2015 Southern Rhônes. 

Vintage Report: Rhone 2016 - The Rolling Rhônes

Vintage Report: Rhone 2016 - The Rolling Rhônes

Monday 20th November 2017
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

As flippant as the title may seem, Rhône is certainly on a very serious roll.  2016 will go down as another great Rhône vintage.  As hard as it may be to believe, this vintage is as good as and, in many cases, better than, 2015.  


There is no hesitation from Southern Rhône growers:  Vieux Télégraphe describe it as “magical”, Beaucastel as “idylllic and exceptional,” while Barroche’s Julien Barrot recalls picking berries at harvest:  “Cinema grapes, they were so beautiful to look at!” So why all the excitement? It was a dry rather than an excessively hot vintage.  By and large days were sunny and nights cool.  Flowering was successful so the crop was of good size and ripening homogenous.  Rain in mid-September ensured that the vines completed their ripening cycle before harvest at the end of the month. Certainly when tasting the wines you get no sense of a stressed season. For these 2016s are flowing and silken.  Notable for their incredibly fine tannins, belying a discrete intensity, the wines have a generous, alluring quality to them with enough of a pique of freshness to provide lift.  Comparisons have been drawn with 1990, 2007 but most of all 2010.  Though it is every bit as good if not better than the latter, we feel it is a very different vintage.  Acidities are as fresh as 2010 but the wines feel more charming in 2016 and alcohol, surprisingly, was lower ranging between 14 to 14.5%. Many growers have made their most abundant and what they believe to be their best vintage.  A great year to tuck away in the cellar or drink young, avoiding, of course, Châteauneuf’s infamous adolescent period between three and eight years after bottle.

Chateauneuf's overlooked vintages

Chateauneuf's overlooked vintages

Wednesday 25th November 2009
by Julian Campbell

Tasting with the affable Vincent Avril today was fascinating.

The final blend of 2008 Clos des Papes red looks very smart, silky pure and refreshing. He likens it to the 1999 which we tasted, too, this was drinking well - elegant moreish, and very fresh after 10 years so this bodes well for the 2008 which he thinks is better. The 04 Clos des Papes red is still very young but offers such vitality, ripeness and polish, a wonderful wine from this shamefully overlooked Chateauneuf vintage.

Julien Barrot at Barroche has made a lovely "signature" cuvee in 2008 rich velvety but fresh with almost Pinot like aromas, a real beauty. There will be no fiancee or pure in 2008 so all the goodness from those pure 100 year old grenache vines has gone into the signature blend, making it all the more special.