Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

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Eric Guido
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Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#1 Post by Eric Guido » September 9th, 2018, 7:16 am

I've been trying to find ongoing conversations about the Southern Rhone and it's producers, but seem to come up empty handed between the message boards that I frequent. Way back in the day the Parker Boards were a good place but it's been forever since I've been a part of them. As for the others, there seem to be a lot more Southern Rhone haters than lovers on these forums lately.

For me, the Rhone (North and South) are my favorite regions after Barolo, Barbaresco and Tuscany. Does anyone know of a place where like minded individuals are chatting about these topics? Seems there's a lot to talk about and discuss with vintages, changing styles of producers, different villages, and the region as a whole.
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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#2 Post by David Cooper » September 9th, 2018, 7:46 am

Eric. I agree that there seems to be a bit of a void when it comes to the Southern Rhone. As you say the Parker board used to be the place for Southern Rhone talk especially when the board was open to all and RMP was still doing the reviews and people like Jeb Dunnick and Brad Coelho were regular posters. The long forgotten Joe Baalamati board was also a place with regular Southern Rhone talk.

Could it be a change in style in the region that has lead to a lot of enthusiasts moving away from the wines, leading to less discussion on boards like this? The Rhone is the region I have the most notes for on CT but I rarely buy bottles of CdP or Gigondas anymore.

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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#3 Post by crickey » September 9th, 2018, 7:52 am

Start one and see if you can spark one.
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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#4 Post by Gerhard P. » September 9th, 2018, 7:55 am

I do think there are enough lovers of Rhone wines here ... indeed there are also some "haters" (or better: "critics") ... but I can simply ignore them ... or make my own statement.
I was in the Rhone last week ... and I´ve tasted magnificent stuff ... 2016 is simply awesome in the South ... and outstanding in the North ...
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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#5 Post by David Cooper » September 9th, 2018, 7:58 am

crickey wrote:
September 9th, 2018, 7:52 am
Start one and see if you can spark one.
I think he has.

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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#6 Post by Eric Guido » September 9th, 2018, 8:26 am

Gerhard P. wrote:
September 9th, 2018, 7:55 am
I do think there are enough lovers of Rhone wines here ... indeed there are also some "haters" (or better: "critics") ... but I can simply ignore them ... or make my own statement.
I was in the Rhone last week ... and I´ve tasted magnificent stuff ... 2016 is simply awesome in the South ... and outstanding in the North ...
I totally agree. I've been tasting a lot of the CdP tradition bottles from 2016 and liking a lot of what I'm finding. When I think back to tasting the young 2007s I would be scratching my head trying to figure out how those wines were going to age into the scores that had been placed on them-- Same with 2009. In fact I started becoming a fan of the good but not great vintages (2012). However, now I'm finding a lot more to like and as I taste the 2016s they're showing much livelier personalities than past highly hyped years.

Also Gigondas seems to have really stepped up its game.
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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#7 Post by Eric Guido » September 9th, 2018, 8:28 am

David Cooper wrote:
September 9th, 2018, 7:46 am
Eric. I agree that there seems to be a bit of a void when it comes to the Southern Rhone. As you say the Parker board used to be the place for Southern Rhone talk especially when the board was open to all and RMP was still doing the reviews and people like Jeb Dunnick and Brad Coelho were regular posters. The long forgotten Joe Baalamati board was also a place with regular Southern Rhone talk.

Could it be a change in style in the region that has lead to a lot of enthusiasts moving away from the wines, leading to less discussion on boards like this? The Rhone is the region I have the most notes for on CT but I rarely buy bottles of CdP or Gigondas anymore.
You're bringing up some seriously good memories. Is Brad still around?

Curious if you feel like the wines are starting to come back around to the style that we liked? Have you been tasting recent vintages?
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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#8 Post by Peter Panzica » September 9th, 2018, 8:40 am

Gerhard P. wrote:
September 9th, 2018, 7:55 am
I do think there are enough lovers of Rhone wines here ... indeed there are also some "haters" (or better: "critics") ... but I can simply ignore them ... or make my own statement.
I was in the Rhone last week ... and I´ve tasted magnificent stuff ... 2016 is simply awesome in the South ... and outstanding in the North ...
Still love my Rhone wines which make up about 8.5% of my cellar (add Rhone ranger style wines SQN, Alban, Saxum, Cayuse-if you include them in the % it's MUCH higher). I too visited Cdp and N Rhone 2 summers ago and it was an amazing trip. After 4 less than top vintages 2015 and 2016 have come roaring back to top form. I've held off on 2015 because 2016 is a birth year and I've am a buyer again. JD scores are quite high and there seems to be some grade inflation, as discussed in Jim Dove's thread, but Joe C and JD are both giving similar high scores and I like the style I am in. So far I've purchased 6 packs of:
Usseglio MA
Mordorree Reine des Bois
Prefert Colombis

I will buy more if I can find them at decent prices including Prefert AF/CG, Barroche Pure, Pegau, St Jean Ex Machina and Pegau. I have visited all of these domaines and I am a fan. Curious about Donjon and a few others but we will see.

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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#9 Post by David Cooper » September 9th, 2018, 8:52 am

Eric. The only recent vintage I have tasted was a 2013 Pegau because I bought 6, and that was my last SR purchase. I think Brad C disappeared years ago. Those are some pretty good memories. We spent 2 weeks in a gite in Sablet during the vendage in 2010. The last day we took the bottles to the recycling bin and there were over 50, pretty good for 6 people.

Peter. I think of JD as a sort of cheerleader for the Southern Rhone. That being said I think his notes are of more interest then his scores.

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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#10 Post by David Glasser » September 9th, 2018, 9:01 am

Long-time Rhone lover here. First Northern, then Southern. I read all of the Rhone posts here with interest even though I don’t often respond.

Interest in regions tends to wax and wane, both for me personally and for the community in general. Things go in and out of style. Sometimes for obvious reasons like critic/KOL attention (e.g. Parker's "discovery" of the Rhone and his promotion of Oz importers like Grateful Palate) or changes in style (e.g. 2007 as poster child for the shift to riper CduP). Other times a region just seems to slip under the radar for no good reason.

My palate has shifted away from ripe Grenache, so I fell a little out of love until I learned to be more selective. I compensated by refocusing on Northern Rhone wines, finding it took some effort to look for replacements for old favorites that had skyrocketed in price.

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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#11 Post by Jeff Vaughan » September 9th, 2018, 9:09 am

I still have a soft spot for Rhone wines, though we don't drink them as often as we used to. CdR and CdP were the wines that started us down the path of drinking French and Italian wine. I still very much enjoy Pegau, Beaucastel, Vieux Donjon, Bois de Boursan CdP, but more so the less heralded and leaner years. We also still buy Clos du Mont Olivet Cotes du Rhone VV to keep around as an everyday, inexpensive wine.

All of these wines are enjoyable, but for some reason, I don't find myself looking at maps, reading about the producers, and spending as much mental energy on them as I do on Italian wines.
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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#12 Post by JohnCummings » September 9th, 2018, 9:53 am

David Glasser wrote:
September 9th, 2018, 9:01 am
Long-time Rhone lover here. First Northern, then Southern. I read all of the Rhone posts here with interest even though I don’t often respond.
As very much a newcomer, it was a trip to the Northern Rhone and a day tour with a wine maker which started me collecting wine, although I must admit other than Beaucastel, I know next to nothing about the Southern Rhone [scratch.gif].

Time to crack the Robinson Atlas and get some knowledge...
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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#13 Post by Jayson Cohen » September 9th, 2018, 10:13 am

Although I steer away from Grenache-based wines for personal reasons, in 2016 I was in Provence with jaunts toward CNdP from mid-August to the beginning of September (beginning of harvest in Provence). The weather was just perfect (not too hot, not too cold, lots of sunshine, good lows at night), and based on what I investigated at the time, I believe it continued into the main CNdP harvest a little later in September. Winemakers I spoke to were happy. It seemed like the set-up for a potentially excellent crop and an excellent vintage of ripe fruit with acidity preserved.
Last edited by Jayson Cohen on September 9th, 2018, 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#14 Post by Eric Guido » September 9th, 2018, 10:17 am

Peter Panzica wrote:
September 9th, 2018, 8:40 am
Gerhard P. wrote:
September 9th, 2018, 7:55 am
I do think there are enough lovers of Rhone wines here ... indeed there are also some "haters" (or better: "critics") ... but I can simply ignore them ... or make my own statement.
I was in the Rhone last week ... and I´ve tasted magnificent stuff ... 2016 is simply awesome in the South ... and outstanding in the North ...
... JD scores are quite high and there seems to be some grade inflation, as discussed in Jim Dove's thread, but Joe C and JD are both giving similar high scores and I like the style I am in. So far I've purchased 6 packs of:
Usseglio MA
Mordorree Reine des Bois
Prefert Colombis

I will buy more if I can find them at decent prices including Prefert AF/CG, Barroche Pure, Pegau, St Jean Ex Machina and Pegau. I have visited all of these domaines and I am a fan. Curious about Donjon and a few others but we will see.

Don't worry what others think-post away
I do agree that the scores seem high, but as I look to all of the other critics, plus or minus a few producers, the scores seem to be pretty much in line. If you add 2 - 3 points onto every Josh Raynolds review, then you basically have similar ranges to JD, WA and WS. With all of them agreeing on so many wines, It's been hard not to buy in. Usually someone is a naysayer, but with 2016 (for the most part) its across the board. The only thing that Josh had mentioned is that, from a long-term aging perspective, the 2015s have the upper hand.

For me, I've been a buyer of 2016:


Saint Préfert Charles Giraud (I should buy Colombis but the stash has gotten large)
Domaine de Marcoux Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes (couldn't help it, everyone seems to love it)
Domaine de Marcoux Châteauneuf-du-Pape (tasted and LOVED IT)
Giraud Châteauneuf-du-Pape Tradition (unanimous praise)
Giraud Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Gallimardes (unanimous praise)
Giraud Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée les Grenaches de Pierre (unanimous praise)
Clos du Mont-Olivet Châteauneuf-du-Pape Papet (Totally Jebs fault that I bought this, even if it's 1/2 as good as he said then it should be amazing.
Clos du Caillou Châteauneuf-du-Pape Domaine du Caillou Les Quartz (I have a soft spot for these)
Clos du Caillou Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Réserve (unanimous praise)
Roger Sabon Reserve (connsistant 94-95 between everyone)
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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#15 Post by Eric Guido » September 9th, 2018, 10:21 am

David Cooper wrote:
September 9th, 2018, 8:52 am
I think of JD as a sort of cheerleader for the Southern Rhone. That being said I think his notes are of more interest then his scores.
I think that as long as you know the critics palate, the scores can be averaged out between the other critics.

What I am happy about with the Rhone, is at least the good or not-so-good vintages get lower scores. That can't be said for a lot of regions. There are areas in Italy where you'd never know they had a bad vintage by the scores for the Usual Suspects.
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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#16 Post by Eric Guido » September 9th, 2018, 10:24 am

Jayson Cohen wrote:
September 9th, 2018, 10:13 am
Although I steer away from Grenache-based wines for personal reasons, in 2016 I was in Provence with jaunts toward CNdP from mid-August to the beginning of September (beginning of harvest in Provence). The weather was just perfect (not too hot, not too cold, lots of sunshine, good lows at night), and based on what I investigated at the time, I believe it continued into the main CNdP harvest a little later in September. Winemakers I spoke to were happy. It seemed like the set-up for a potentially excellent crop and an excellent vintage of ripe fruit with acidity preserved.
It's easy to get a good read on these just by grabbing some of the entry-level stuff. The Saint Prefert CdP tradition is so pretty. Marcoux is like liquid velvet, Giraud has depths yet unrevealed, Janasse does a wonderful job of communicating the house style at a fraction of the price.
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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#17 Post by ky1em!ttskus » September 9th, 2018, 10:30 am

I jumped deep into S. Rhone when I first got "into" wine. The problem was, that was cir. 2007 and Parker's stick was large and he was swinging it hard. I like fruit-forward wines, too!

So, since that debacle (which was entirely my own fault), I have bought almost no S. Rhone wines. I used to really like Gig. and Vac., too. Maybe I should dip my toes back in...

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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#18 Post by Jayson Cohen » September 9th, 2018, 10:35 am

Eric Guido wrote:
September 9th, 2018, 10:24 am
Jayson Cohen wrote:
September 9th, 2018, 10:13 am
Although I steer away from Grenache-based wines for personal reasons, in 2016 I was in Provence with jaunts toward CNdP from mid-August to the beginning of September (beginning of harvest in Provence). The weather was just perfect (not too hot, not too cold, lots of sunshine, good lows at night), and based on what I investigated at the time, I believe it continued into the main CNdP harvest a little later in September. Winemakers I spoke to were happy. It seemed like the set-up for a potentially excellent crop and an excellent vintage of ripe fruit with acidity preserved.
It's easy to get a good read on these just by grabbing some of the entry-level stuff. The Saint Prefert CdP tradition is so pretty. Marcoux is like liquid velvet, Giraud has depths yet unrevealed, Janasse does a wonderful job of communicating the house style at a fraction of the price.
Nope. Not for me. We all make choices — to each, her/his own.

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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#19 Post by Keith A k e r s » September 9th, 2018, 10:35 am

Eric Guido wrote:
September 9th, 2018, 8:28 am


Curious if you feel like the wines are starting to come back around to the style that we liked? Have you been tasting recent vintages?

Personally, I think this is happening to a decent extent. I've been pretty happy with the handful of 15 CdPs I've tasted. I haven't felt like they were too sleek like the 07s were on release and I wouldn't be surprised if I end up happier with wines from recent vintages down the road rather than what I found in 07s.

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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#20 Post by GregT » September 9th, 2018, 10:39 am

Eric - I think a couple of things happened. Those of us who used to by wines from the S. Rhone probably still do, but different ones. I haven't bought a CdP in a few years. They changed dramatically, trying to make wines from a single variety rather than blends, and also single vineyards, in attempts to garner big Parker scores. And I don't think the influence of Cambie on so many producers was a positive development. That all led to huge price increases. Used to be you could get a pretty good Gigondas, Vacqueyras, etc., for around twenty bucks, maybe less. I've seen Gigondas for around $100 recently.

I liked 1998 and 2000 but with 2003, which I found alcoholic and flabby, and especially 2007, which was called the best vintage in viticultural history, I lost interest, far preferring the wines from 2008 and even 2006. I remember tasting many dozens of the 2007s and wondering WTF.

Finally, the good folks in CA stepped up their interest in some of those grapes. Saxum and Alban really only came on big in the late 1990s and early 2000s and a lot of other people either got noticed or started working with the so-called "Rhone" grapes. Since this board has a lot of newer people who tend to get excited about getting on mailing lists and discussing their allocations, I think a lot of them may have no real familiarity with the Rhone wines either from the north or south. I was unfamiliar with both Saxum and Alban the first time I tried either. In neither case did I want any in my cellar.

But I'd extend beyond the S. Rhone - there is interesting wine being made all over south France. I've had really good Carignan and Syrah from little-known producers who happen to have a great vineyard on the top of a mountain or overlooking the coast. It's kind of like some of the producers on the far west of Sonoma - Cargasacchi and Failla for example.

Same thing is happening with the N. Rhone grapes vis a vis California - there's some seriously good Syrah being made these days and I'm liking some of the Viognier and Roussanne and Marsanne. Even, oddly enough, the SQN versions.

I love Grenache when done well. You're going to get alcohol but the trick is dialing back the associated heat, and when you do that, the south of France can make utterly delicious wines. I still drink them - never stopped really, just pick more carefully now.
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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#21 Post by Eric Guido » September 9th, 2018, 1:13 pm

GregT wrote:
September 9th, 2018, 10:39 am
Eric - I think a couple of things happened. Those of us who used to by wines from the S. Rhone probably still do, but different ones. I haven't bought a CdP in a few years. They changed dramatically, trying to make wines from a single variety rather than blends, and also single vineyards, in attempts to garner big Parker scores. And I don't think the influence of Cambie on so many producers was a positive development. That all led to huge price increases. Used to be you could get a pretty good Gigondas, Vacqueyras, etc., for around twenty bucks, maybe less. I've seen Gigondas for around $100 recently.

I liked 1998 and 2000 but with 2003, which I found alcoholic and flabby, and especially 2007, which was called the best vintage in viticultural history, I lost interest, far preferring the wines from 2008 and even 2006. I remember tasting many dozens of the 2007s and wondering WTF.

Finally, the good folks in CA stepped up their interest in some of those grapes. Saxum and Alban really only came on big in the late 1990s and early 2000s and a lot of other people either got noticed or started working with the so-called "Rhone" grapes. Since this board has a lot of newer people who tend to get excited about getting on mailing lists and discussing their allocations, I think a lot of them may have no real familiarity with the Rhone wines either from the north or south. I was unfamiliar with both Saxum and Alban the first time I tried either. In neither case did I want any in my cellar.

But I'd extend beyond the S. Rhone - there is interesting wine being made all over south France. I've had really good Carignan and Syrah from little-known producers who happen to have a great vineyard on the top of a mountain or overlooking the coast. It's kind of like some of the producers on the far west of Sonoma - Cargasacchi and Failla for example.

Same thing is happening with the N. Rhone grapes vis a vis California - there's some seriously good Syrah being made these days and I'm liking some of the Viognier and Roussanne and Marsanne. Even, oddly enough, the SQN versions.

I love Grenache when done well. You're going to get alcohol but the trick is dialing back the associated heat, and when you do that, the south of France can make utterly delicious wines. I still drink them - never stopped really, just pick more carefully now.
I always enjoy your comments and really miss the days when we could taste together.

I agree about California, especially when it comes to Syrah, but I do need to point out that the price (while they may not be equal to that of the prestige bottles of the Rhone) are starting to get pretty high. Also the wines have become heavily allocated. I find myself often begging my distributors for more wine so I can buy some without taking away from our customers.

Then there's Grenache, which I personally love the traditional Rhone blends that lean on Grenache but blend in Syrah and the BIG mix. The problem here is that I've yet to find another location making these wines that I'm enjoying more than what's coming out of the S Rhone.

I'm always open to suggestions, because I would love to be drinking better, for less money.
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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#22 Post by dsimmons » September 9th, 2018, 2:06 pm

I love Southern Rhone wines and believe there are a great many others who do as well. There is however, a vocal group who have different tastes and seem to take great pleasure in telling those of us who do like Southern Rhone wines how wrong we are. As a result there does appear to be a predisposition to certain varietals and styles of wine in the discussions here, to the exclusion of Southern Rhone. That said there is still a great amount of information on a broad variety of subjects. It is what it is.
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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#23 Post by Paul R. » September 10th, 2018, 2:49 pm

Love Southern Rhone. Really where my collection and enthusiasm began. While prices have increased, I think you can find great value. I have tried tried and will continue to try Californian counterparts, but in general, I find better value in Rhone (and less oak). Looking at some purchases for CdP, $60-75 for Beaucastel depending on vintage, $40-60 for Pegau depending on vintage, $35-70 for Janasse depending on which one ($16 for CdR!) to name a few. Little South but what about Bandol? Tempier for $30-45 depending on the wine? In the $30-70 range, you can get some amazing wine that is extremely versatile with food that will only get more interesting with time. I know this is apples and oranges and there are always exceptions, but I generally feel like I pay nearly 2x for a similar caliber Bordeaux and more for Burgundy. You have to pick producers and some certainly got out of balance, particularly in hot years but it is amazing how many times I have turned fringe wine drinkers on to CdP and they love it. I am relatively new here and only been seriously drinking wine for 5-10 years so I don't have the experience with SR wines of the 80s and 90s that others on the board have but I can't wait to see how the wines that I do have evolve. Happy to continue chatting on subjects you want to discuss.
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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#24 Post by Drew Goin » September 10th, 2018, 4:13 pm

GregT wrote:
September 9th, 2018, 10:39 am
Eric - I think a couple of things happened. Those of us who used to by wines from the S. Rhone probably still do, but different ones. I haven't bought a CdP in a few years. They changed dramatically, trying to make wines from a single variety rather than blends, and also single vineyards, in attempts to garner big Parker scores. And I don't think the influence of Cambie on so many producers was a positive development. That all led to huge price increases. Used to be you could get a pretty good Gigondas, Vacqueyras, etc., for around twenty bucks, maybe less. I've seen Gigondas for around $100 recently.

I liked 1998 and 2000 but with 2003, which I found alcoholic and flabby, and especially 2007, which was called the best vintage in viticultural history, I lost interest, far preferring the wines from 2008 and even 2006. I remember tasting many dozens of the 2007s and wondering WTF.

Finally, the good folks in CA stepped up their interest in some of those grapes.

...But I'd extend beyond the S. Rhone - there is interesting wine being made all over south France. I've had really good Carignan and Syrah from little-known producers who happen to have a great vineyard on the top of a mountain or overlooking the coast.

...I love Grenache when done well. You're going to get alcohol but the trick is dialing back the associated heat, and when you do that, the south of France can make utterly delicious wines. I still drink them - never stopped really, just pick more carefully now.

+1 (On the Bold text, at least, for me)

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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#25 Post by Arv R » September 10th, 2018, 4:45 pm

I quite like So. Rhones and bought them in 2007 and 2010.

Dabbled in a few 2015s, but much more No. Rhone that year.

Unf. prices have gone up more than I am willing to pay.

At least there are many village type wines that are quite good.

At the daily drinker / midweek level Charvin's CdR / Poutet bottling is a favorite

Also there are some Lirac's that are darn good for the money - I like the Clos de Sixte bottling.
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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#26 Post by GregT » September 10th, 2018, 8:40 pm

Yeah Eric - hope you're well! I think you're right - it's the blend that just isn't done that way in too many other regions. Some Australians get it well, but it's distinctly theirs, not like the Rhone. And in Spain, they do the Garnacha but mostly leave out the Syrah. I think those are brilliant together. CA is working on it, WA too actually.

I have a Mexican Nebbiolo/Tempranillo blend for next time I see you!
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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#27 Post by Eric Guido » September 13th, 2018, 9:34 am

Arv R wrote:
September 10th, 2018, 4:45 pm
I quite like So. Rhones and bought them in 2007 and 2010.

Dabbled in a few 2015s, but much more No. Rhone that year.

Unf. prices have gone up more than I am willing to pay.

At least there are many village type wines that are quite good.

At the daily drinker / midweek level Charvin's CdR / Poutet bottling is a favorite

Also there are some Lirac's that are darn good for the money - I like the Clos de Sixte bottling.
I agree 100% regarding the Charvin CdR ( not easy to find) and Lirac. There's a lot of great CdR out there and some stuff that really can compete with. CdP.
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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#28 Post by Tim D » September 22nd, 2018, 8:08 am

I too enjoy wines from the Rhone and Rhone Rangers. If you can find them try La Pialade ($50 +/-), Chateau des Tours ($35 +/-) and Domaine des Tours (25 +/-) all Rayas Cote du Rhones that drink as good or IMHO better than many higher priced CDP's. While I'm on my soap box I think Washington has done a better job in recent years with Syrah and Granache than California. I'm painting with a broad brush, there are some very good CA producers whose wines I enjoy.
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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#29 Post by Steve Costigan » September 22nd, 2018, 8:55 am

I too love the Southern Rhone, especially CdP which when done well may be my favorite genre (traditional rather than so-called modern style).

That said, I am wondering if CdP is heading for some type of price correction if not a significant crash. A few reasons:
1. There has been an increasing number of CdP cuvees made in the so-called modern style (higher extraction, riper fruit which seem to come at the expense of aromatic complexity). Oak use is also at play here, and the paremeters are familiar.
2. There seems to be a move by many consumers, especially aficionados, away from higher extraction and towards wines of greater elegance, interest/complexity, “balance”,etc.
3. Prices that have increased far beyond inflation.
4. Proliferation of special/multipe cuvees. This exacerbates all of the above. There aren't that many producers putting their best into a single red cuvee (those that are I laud and drink).
On #2, I avoid the big extracted CdPs because if my goal is a burly GSM -style I have many options elsewhere at lower cost.
Does anyone think CdP could be the next Aussie shiraz?
Pacem

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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#30 Post by Jay Miller » September 22nd, 2018, 9:58 pm

Colney Hatch?
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#31 Post by Steve Costigan » September 23rd, 2018, 7:50 am

I understand the barb but it's not all that elucidative. Returning to the subject, I've observed the increasing retail availability and time on the market for high-end CdPs, feedback from friends and acquaintances who now avoiding CdP primarily over value, and the comments in multiple WB threads and elsewhere expressing concerns about CdP style trends. Just wondering if others are sensing a broader turning away that could have economic implications.

Seems like CdP wouldn't be exempt from economics of supply and demand. There are lots of examples. I am sure you are already know CA and WA producers (some that I have heard from personally and others that are, justifiably, WB heroes) over the last 10 years cut way back on syrah in favor of other varieties that aren't such a "tough sell" (that's not a slam of CA/WA syrah; they dominate my cellar). Since they don't have the option to start making cabernet in CdP it seems like they would have fewer options in response to supply/demand. The Aussie shiraz comparison was one of the most extreme examples I could think of; and no I don't expect CdP to fall in reputation (I think unfairly) as far as Aussie shiraz. But I wound't mind seeing prices stop increasing if not decrease for the CdPs I like.
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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#32 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » September 23rd, 2018, 8:01 am

Steve Costigan wrote:
September 22nd, 2018, 8:55 am
I too love the Southern Rhone, especially CdP which when done well may be my favorite genre (traditional rather than so-called modern style).

That said, I am wondering if CdP is heading for some type of price correction if not a significant crash. A few reasons:
1. There has been an increasing number of CdP cuvees made in the so-called modern style (higher extraction, riper fruit which seem to come at the expense of aromatic complexity). Oak use is also at play here, and the paremeters are familiar.
2. There seems to be a move by many consumers, especially aficionados, away from higher extraction and towards wines of greater elegance, interest/complexity, “balance”,etc.
3. Prices that have increased far beyond inflation.
4. Proliferation of special/multipe cuvees. This exacerbates all of the above. There aren't that many producers putting their best into a single red cuvee (those that are I laud and drink).
On #2, I avoid the big extracted CdPs because if my goal is a burly GSM -style I have many options elsewhere at lower cost.
Does anyone think CdP could be the next Aussie shiraz?
Pacem
CDP, and the modern critics and consultants like Cambie, seriously jumped the shark in the 2007 vintage, but the tide was turning before that. Today’s it’s just en masse.

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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#33 Post by David Cooper » September 23rd, 2018, 10:20 am

As much as I blame Cambie, the problem has been letting the Grenache hang on the vines too long. Barroche did it in 05 and their punishment was 100 point scores, sold out product and steep price increases. Others were already doing this or quickly joined in.

By the time 07 came along the season let them take this practice to dizzying heights. A lot of wines from 05 onward have become high test roasted messes. At least the ones in my cellar. The vintages I enjoy drinking now are 08 and 11.

There were a few threads about the 98s being disappointments lately, but I think that's crazy. Only a few wines were meant for the long haul like Donjon, Telegraphe, Clos Des Papes, Pegau, Vielle Julliene or Clos de Caillou.

I'm struggling to think that Syrah is the problem, just a few hours drive north, they seem to be doing OK.

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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#34 Post by Jonathan Loesberg » September 24th, 2018, 6:42 am

I'm no Cambie fan, God knows, but both of the above two posts are painting with much too broad a brush. Global warming is with us, and vintages like 03 and 07 will alas be more frequent, but there are more than enough CdP domaines harvesting as best they can to avoid overripeness and vinifying in entirely traditional ways. If you buy from them in cool vintages like 04, 08, 11, 13 and 14, you will be more likely to be happier. I would also suggest trying great years that are not marked by the sun like 10 and 16. Now if you don't like CdP, you don't like CdP, and that's fine. But don't confuse that with not liking modern winemaking.

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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#35 Post by David Cooper » September 24th, 2018, 8:02 am

Jonathan. I must like Southern Rhone wines, I have 561 notes from the region on CT. I was just expressing my view on some of the wines in my cellar and the reasons I think few wine geeks are buying the wines.

I do believe there are a lot of regions where global warming has been dealt with better then CdP.

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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#36 Post by Jonathan Loesberg » September 24th, 2018, 8:14 am

David, I was thinking more of Alfert, Jayson Cohen, Jay Miller, Keith Levenberg and Neal Mollen as declared Southern Rhone haters. I did gather from your thread that you did like them in cooler vintages.

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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#37 Post by Jeff Vaughan » September 24th, 2018, 9:12 am

Jonathan Loesberg wrote:
September 24th, 2018, 6:42 am
I'm no Cambie fan, God knows, but both of the above two posts are painting with much too broad a brush. Global warming is with us, and vintages like 03 and 07 will alas be more frequent, but there are more than enough CdP domaines harvesting as best they can to avoid overripeness and vinifying in entirely traditional ways. If you buy from them in cool vintages like 04, 08, 11, 13 and 14, you will be more likely to be happier. I would also suggest trying great years that are not marked by the sun like 10 and 16. Now if you don't like CdP, you don't like CdP, and that's fine. But don't confuse that with not liking modern winemaking.
I agree with this. Between traditional producers and the less heralded vintages, there are still some nice southern Rhone wines being made that aren't in the super ripe, high alcohol, fruit bomb style.
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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#38 Post by Kirk.Grant » September 24th, 2018, 9:57 am

I've been buying CdP Blanc more than the reds in the Southern Rhone...for me, the wines are just not what I've been looking for in the past. The last vintage of Beaucastel that I've been aging is 2001. I've enjoyed a few of these in their youth, but had little or no interest in aging them as they were good enough within a year of purchase that I was happy not to bother aging them. In general this is a region that has not grown in popularity with others...but it doesn't mean that the wines aren't special. It's just that when there's a need for space in the cellar to age some of the long-aging wines like Nebbiolo, there's just no room for wines that I'm generally happy to buy and drink within a year or two of release like these. Again, the whites are the exception for me...I do like hanging onto them longer.
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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#39 Post by Jay Miller » September 24th, 2018, 11:44 am

Jonathan Loesberg wrote:
September 24th, 2018, 8:14 am
David, I was thinking more of Alfert, Jayson Cohen, Jay Miller, Keith Levenberg and Neal Mollen as declared Southern Rhone haters. I did gather from your thread that you did like them in cooler vintages.
I am shocked - shocked to find that you believe me to hate southern Rhone wines.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#40 Post by Jayson Cohen » September 24th, 2018, 7:58 pm

Jonathan Loesberg wrote:
September 24th, 2018, 8:14 am
David, I was thinking more of Alfert, Jayson Cohen, Jay Miller, Keith Levenberg and Neal Mollen as declared Southern Rhone haters. I did gather from your thread that you did like them in cooler vintages.
Hate is a strong word. Remember I promised to have an open mind when you are next in town. And I love Rayas and Fonsalette. (Which is sort of like saying: “We have both kinds. Country and Western.”) And Brezeme from Serine - not exactly South but not exactly North either. It just doesn’t make sense for me to buy CdR and CNdP that is predominantly Grenache that I am likely not to like rather than spend my $$ elsewhere.

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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#41 Post by Kris Patten » September 24th, 2018, 8:05 pm

Drank a ton 1998 thru 2013, been in a lull. Part of it is the posting on Parkers board making me want to try things, part is just trying other things. The place in my heart for Rayas, Pegau, Mordoree RdB and a few others cant be replaced....love them.
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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#42 Post by Jonathan Loesberg » September 25th, 2018, 7:13 am

Jayson and Jay,

Somewhere on this board is an exchange between you two about running the other way when I come to town, despite how charming Gail is, because I might bring a CdP. That alone should be evidence enough since Gail's charm is universally recognized.

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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#43 Post by Jay Miller » September 25th, 2018, 9:04 am

Jonathan Loesberg wrote:
September 25th, 2018, 7:13 am
Jayson and Jay,

Somewhere on this board is an exchange between you two about running the other way when I come to town, despite how charming Gail is, because I might bring a CdP. That alone should be evidence enough since Gail's charm is universally recognized.
Is should be obvious that we were joking as I'd never really pass up the opportunity to have dinner with Gail. I could always dump the CdP in the nearest flowerpot when you weren't looking. I often travel to offlines with flowerpots for just that purpose. By the way I think I deserve credit for holding on on my Colney Hatch comment for several days. I wanted to make it when the thread first started but decided to let the real conversation take place for a while until I couldn't resist any longer.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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Re: Southern Rhone Lovers... Where Can They Be Found

#44 Post by A.Altman » September 25th, 2018, 10:09 am

Haven't really bought any since the 2010 vintage. Like a bunch of folks, I got tired of the extreme style of so many of the wines and drifted away.

In the last few weeks I have had 2015 Cayron Gigondas, 2009 Pegau, 2015 Saint Damien Gigondas Souteyrades and have been inspired to do some targeted 2015/16 buying because I honestly forgot how much I love these wines when they aren't totally stewed alcohol bombs. Or have any perceivable oak.

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