Majestic Wine Buyer Suzie Harrison gives the lowdown on France’s second-largest quality wine region.
Running between Lyon and Avignon, the Rhône Valley is home to some of France’s oldest and most distinguished vines. The region’s wines enjoy worldwide renown as some of the country’s most diverse and best value for money.
It’s a region divided into two distinct sections. In the north, where Syrah rules, the vines can be seen hugging the steep slopes bordering the river. Here, the cool, dry Mistral winds exert their strongest influence creating a climate which promotes reds with a distinct olive tapenade and smoky bacon character.
Home to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the southern Rhône has a more Mediterranean climate that sees Grenache assume prominence. The Côtes du Rhône appellation – the standing of which has improved considerably in recent decades – lies within this sub-region, accounting for some 80% of the entire Rhône Valley’s production.
Many of the wines in our range hail from the stellar 2007 vintage – widely regarded as perhaps the best year in the Rhône since 1990, producing outstanding wines right across the appellation and price spectrum.
“Throughout the southern Rhône, 2007 is the greatest vintage I have tasted in my thirty years working in that region… Moreover, the vintage is remarkably consistent from top to bottom.”
Côtes-du-Rhône Belleruche 2007, M.Chapoutier
£7.99 £7.49 or £5.99 when you buy 2 bottles*
“The finest Côtes-du-Rhone Chapoutier has yet made… Its deep ruby/purple hue is accompanied by aromas of blackberries, cherries, road tar, and earth. Medium-bodied with silky tannins as well as gobs of luscious fruit.” (89 points) Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Lirac 2007, Cave de Saint Desirat
£7.99 or £6.39 when you buy 2 bottles*
A taste sensation – absolutely brimming with black fruit and berry flavours. Rich and complex with good concentration and excellent length.
Vacqueyras 2006, Domaine de la Garrigue
£11.99 or £9.59 when you buy 2 bottles*
“A ruby/purple color is accompanied by a sweet bouquet of black cherries, licorice, roasted Provencal herbs and garrigue. Deep, full-bodied and intense with beautiful purity, a layered mouthfeel and a heady finish, it should drink nicely for at least a decade.” (91 points) Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2008, Serabel New!
£12.49 or £9.99 when you buy 2 bottles*
Rich and opulent with smooth spicy characters, this parcel offers exceptional value for money with great complexity and a long satisfying finish.
Crozes Hermitage ‘Les Jalets’ 2006, P.Jaboulet
£12.49 £9.99 when you buy 2 bottles*
Aromas of red berries and spices follow through to a smooth, rich palate, finishing with liquorice notes.
Gigondas 2006, E.Guigal
£15.99 or £12.79 when you buy 2 bottles*
A big, chunky red laden with intense berry fruits reflecting the Guigal trademark of fullness and depth. Bottle age will add complexity.
See all of our Rhône special offers
*All prices valid until 1st February 2010