When it comes to the Rhone Valley wines, we find two distinctive styles with unique characteristics. The Northern Rhone produces some of the most elegant and complex wines with excellent ageing potential, and the Southern Rhone wines are full-bodied, rich, and aromatic.
In the Northern Rhone, Syrah is the dominant grape variety, producing wines with notes of black fruit, violets, black pepper, and smoked meat. JL Chave is one of the legendary producers in the region, with their Hermitage being a benchmark for Syrah. Pierre Gonon is another renowned producer, and their Saint-Joseph is a must-try, with flavours of blackberries, lavender, and white pepper.
Guillaume Gilles is a rising star in the Northern Rhone and has been gaining recognition for his minimal intervention winemaking style. His wines are unfiltered and unfined, resulting in a wine that is rich in texture, depth, and complexity. Gilles' Côtes du Rhône is a beautiful example of his winemaking philosophy, with flavours of raspberries, lavender, and garrigue, and a long, elegant finish.
Dard & Ribo, are another cult producer and are known for their natural winemaking approach, producing wines that are pure and expressive. The winemakers, Jean-René Dard et François Ribo have been working together since 2005 and have quickly become a favourite among wine enthusiasts. Their Crozes-Hermitage is a must-try, with flavours of blackberries, black olives, and smoky notes, showing a balance between the fruit and the terroir. You might find their wines occasionally on y the glass on special occasions. Watch this space.
In the Southern Rhone, Grenache is the dominant grape variety, producing fuller-bodied wines that are rich in flavour and aromatics. Domaine Charvin is a must-visit producer in the region, with their Châteauneuf-du-Pape being a beautiful expression of Grenache, with notes of black cherries, liquorice, and spices.
As for Roucas Toumba, they are a producer worth mentioning. They produce wines that are bold and structured, with notes of black fruit, leather, and tobacco. Their Vacqueyras Les Restanques de Cabassole is a standout, showcasing the complexity and elegance of the Southern Rhone.
In conclusion, the Rhone Valley produces wines that are distinctive, complex, and rich in flavour. From the elegance and finesse of Northern Rhone wines to the bold and flavourful Southern Rhone wines, there is a wine for every palate. With legendary producers as well as rising stars the Rhone Valley will continue to be a beacon of exceptional wine production for years to come.