Posts with the label "chave"


Rhône 2018

Rhône 2018

Monday 7th October 2019
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

Generalising about the 2018 Rhône vintage is difficult. Where it was a small crop it was tiny and where it wasn’t it was big!

Equally paradoxical is the style of the wines – some of which are really attractive and seductive now, others are blockbusters that will require great patience.  Nor do these differences divide neatly into the Northern or Southern Rhône.   What is clear, though, is the pattern of the season: 2018 started with an intolerably prolonged wet period in Spring that was ended by a long bout of hot, dry weather that began at the end of June; there was an extremely hot August and finally a harvest period that was very warm throughout. One grower I spoke to described 2018 as “tropical.”  Low yields or high, 2018 produced rich, ripe grapes that were in tip top health. Alcohols and tannic structures were relatively high and acids low. There are plenty of delicious wines to seek out, but whether they are for keeping or drinking before 2017s, 2016s and 2015s varies from Domaine to Domaine – I have given a general idea below and will go into even more detail in our Rhône offer that will be launched on the 20th November. 

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. 

Rhone 2010 - Greater than 2009?

Rhone 2010 - Greater than 2009?

Thursday 14th July 2011
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

I look forward to the Rhone buying trip with particular relish. The place is beautiful, the weather a welcome change from grey London and the diverse array of wines fantastic.

 Rhone can never be accused of being boring, from the divergent blends of Chateauneuf, the varying styles of the Northern Syrahs, not to mention Condrieu, Marsannes and Roussannes. What's more I know that when I get back home, there will be more than a few things on my wine shopping list that I will actually be able to afford.

This July's aim was to re-taste 2009s and take an extensive look at 2010s. The schedule in front of me was bursting at the seams, 22 growers in 4 days including Clos des Papes,Pegau, Vieux Telegraphe, Chave, Domaine du Coulet, Alain Graillot, Rostaing, Clusel Roch and Stephane Ogier to name a few. I am very much becoming a victim of the Rhone's success, it seems that every year we add a new grower to the portfolio. The trip left me quite exhausted, albeit in a thoroughly satisifed way.
Rhone 2009, The Septentrional Slog

Rhone 2009, The Septentrional Slog

Thursday 8th July 2010
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

After two days of Meridional marathon in the Southern Rhone, I embarked on an even more gruelling two days in the Septentrional North. 

 I have visited 7 producers both yesterday and today(thursday)taking in the best of Cornas, Crozes, St Joseph, Hermitage, Condrieu, Cote Rotie and that well known Vin de Pays, Seyssuel! I have seen all of our regulars such as Chave, Domaine du Coulet, Domaine du Colombier, Perret and Rostaing to name a few, as well as keeping an eye on the regions young (winemaking!) talents, people such as Semaska, PJ Villa and Stephane Ogier. That makes 26 producers in 4 days. Now, before you all sarcastically get your violins out, actually this has not been such a tall order. Glancing at my schedule upon arriving late into Marseille on Sunday, I thought I had gone perhaps a touch o.t.t., but in fact the style and quality of this vintage has really made it feel rather effortless.