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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.

C%c3%b4te r%c3%b4tie in late winter  just before their wines come out of hibernation  and  unfortunately  often get hit by frost  as in 2021  brutally copy

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.

Cote rotie 1978 guigal

Cellar Favorite: 1978 Etienne Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Mouline

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Neal Martin, Oct 2022

La Mouline debuted in 1966, a year after the family purchased a 1.5-hectare limestone-rich plot of old Syrah vines interpolated with around 10% Viognier in the heart of Côte Blonde from esteemed winemaker, Joannes Dervieux.

Cornas voge 1978 bottle

Cellar Favorite: 1978 Domaine Alain Voge Cornas

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Neal Martin, Oct2022

Every now and then, I am reminded of the greatness of mature Rhônes, especially from Hermitage, Côte-Rôtie and Cornas. Alain Voge was instrumental in putting Cornas on the map.

Amos bursary line up copy

The Wines That Shaped My Life

France: Champagne, New Zealand, France: Bordeaux, featured, Germany, France: Burgundy, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Neal Martin, Mar 2022

A charity dinner themed around the significant wines of my career threw up a couple of surprises. I doubt DRC and Blue Nun have ever found themselves reviewed in the same article. In these days of bleak headlines, the vignettes accompanying these eclectic wines hopefully put a smile on your face.

Cf feb222022

Cellar Favorite: 2011 Matthieu Barret Cornas Billes Noires

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Josh Raynolds, Feb 2022

Cornas has been having a moment for the last decade, thanks to the excellent work of a new generation of winemakers who have breathed new life into what were once the most rustic, wild wines of the northern Rhône.

2009 lapierre marcel 4.jpg copy

Cellar Favorite: 2009 Marcel Lapierre Morgon Cuvée Marcel Lapierre

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Josh Raynolds, Jan 2022

Marcel Lapierre was a living legend in Beaujolais when he passed away at the age of sixty, in October 2010, just after harvest. Such was his renown that his obituary was published in the New York Times as well as in major newspapers across the globe.

Cha%cc%82teauneuf du pape%e2%80%99s landmark castle has a history stretching back to 913. it was enlarged over the centuries but was almost completely demolished by the occupying german army  who blew it up before fleeing the area on august 20  1944 copy

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Weathers the Challenges and Changes

featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Josh Raynolds, Oct 2021

Châteauneuf-du-Pape has plenty to offer in 2019, 2018 and 2017, although not in the quantities of the preceding two years. All three vintages produced several wines that are extremely user-friendly, offering abundant, expressive fruit and adequate but not forbidding structure, which is what the market is demanding more and more of these days.

Cf 2006 cha%cc%82teau de beaucastel cdp

Cellar Favorite: 2006 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Rhône & Beaujolais

Josh Raynolds, Sep 2021

It isn’t too often that a Cellar Favorite is also a currently available library release. That’s the case with the gorgeous 2006 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a wine that I marginally underrated when I tasted it from barrel in November 2008 and then in bottle a year after that.