Hermitage 1967 bottle %281%29

Cellar Favorite: 1983 & 1967 Domaine J.L. Chave L’Hermitage

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Neal Martin, Jan 2024

Last year was such a treasure trove of amazing bottles that I completely forgot a dinner in February that finished with a pair of outstanding wines from Jean-Louis Chave.

Gigondas vineyards underneath the dentelles de montmirail. copycover

Gigondas: The Southern Rhône Jewel Shines and Adapts

featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Nicolas Greinacher, Jan 2024

Gigondas, the Southern Rhône gem, finally moves ahead with the official Gigondas Blanc category as part of the inaugural 2023 vintage. This report unravels the time-consuming AOC adaptation process, delves into the region’s unique terroir and offers a thorough review of the promising 2022 and more mixed 2021 vintages.

Moulin a vent 1971 bottle

Cellar Favorite: 1971 Hospices des Moulin-à-Vent Moulin-à-Vent

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Neal Martin, Nov 2023

Held every November, the Hospices de Beaune is Burgundy’s most famous charity auction. It attracts global attention, celebrities and, in recent years, stratospheric hammer prices. Lying in its shadow is the annual Hospices de Nuits auction that unfairly doesn’t attract nearly the same hoopla. Yet I have encountered very fine bottlings. Until the 1971 Moulin-à-Vent was poured, I had no idea that a similar auction was held in Beaujolais. I do not know when the auction ceased and correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems lost in the mists of time.

A touch of hollywood in vacqueyras. cover option

Vacqueyras New Releases: Walking the Underdog

featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Nicolas Greinacher, Nov 2023

In the sun-drenched vineyards of the Southern Rhône Valley, a captivating underdog story has been unfolding for years. Overshadowed by its prestigious neighbor, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the unassuming Vacqueyras appellation has been gaining attention for its affordable, high-quality wines. This report dives deep into the world of Vacqueyras, explores its characteristics, winemaking techniques and the latest four vintages, uncovering why this hidden gem deserves your attention.

Chiroubles   cheysson %281%29

Cellar Favorite: 2000 Domaine Cheysson Chiroubles

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Neal Martin, Jul 2023

In practically every Beaujolais report, I remind readers that some Beaujolais wines have a propensity to mature in bottle as well as any Pinot Noir from the Côte d’Or. A recent magnum poured at a dinner in Beaune during the week of Burgfest proved that.

Ch%c3%a2teauneuf du pape is famous for its old vines planted on  galets roul%c3%a9s   which are essentially rounded pebble stones over sandy  iron rich clay. copycover2

Châteauneuf-du-Pape New Releases: Welcome to the Pleasuredome

featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Nicolas Greinacher, Jun 2023

Embracing their sun-kissed terroir, the historic vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape continue to produce bold and complex wines. But winemakers face unprecedented challenges as climate change looms and a global shift away from overly alcoholic wines persists. This report takes a deep dive into these present-day challenges and a first-hand look at how winemakers are conquering adversity and shaping their own futures.

Beaujolais vines copy

The Future Is Beaujolais: 2020-2022 Releases

featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Neal Martin, May 2023

Few wine regions capture the heart, soul and tastebuds like Beaujolais, finally shaking off its association with Nouveau and witnessing a serious upgrade in quality, year-on-year. Tired of Burgundy’s fetishization and its unaffordable wines? Step this way.

4 gigondas 2

The Deep Bench of Gigondas

featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Josh Raynolds, Jan 2023

Like the rest of the Rhône valley, and Europe, Gigondas has been confronting hot, dry weather conditions since 2017. Luckily, the best, most experienced growers and winemakers have handled the situation with a steady hand. Still, there’s no question that many wines from recent vintages are distinctly powerful, often high in alcohol, with more dark fruit character and tannic structure than usual.

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Never a Dull Vintage in the Northern Rhône

featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Josh Raynolds, Dec 2022

It’s an interesting time for wineries in the Northern Rhône valley. On the one hand, demand for their wines, especially for small-production, single-vineyard bottlings, is higher than ever. On the other, nature hasn’t been playing nice for the last several vintages. Luckily, the best producers have handled the increasingly challenging conditions with aplomb.

Condrieu 1982 vernay

Cellar Favorite: 1982 Domaine Georges Vernay Condrieu

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Neal Martin, Oct 2022

A lot of Condrieu is consumed in its youth. “It doesn’t really age,” remarked one friend. I recently tested the veracity of that statement when I joined a friend at Noble Rot restaurant, forewarning that I intended to serve a bottle completely blind without a clue how it would show. Personally, I have never drunk a Condrieu more than a decade old, but there is something thrilling about venturing into unchartered vinous waters.