I don't like white Rhones.

There, I said it. I keep trying to like the stuff, but I just don’t. They’re always too hot… always too full and lush, without enough acid to balance. They’re incredibly fatiguing to my palate.

I’ve had three vintages of Faury Condrieu this summer; IMO, Faury makes beautiful, balanced, unspoofulated reds, but the Condrieu just isn’t for me. I’ve felt the same way with whites from the South, like Beaucastel Blanc. Riesling has always been my favorite white, and Chardonnay is catching up now that I’ve discovered the many joys of white Burgundy, but Viognier, Marsanne, Rousanne, etc… I just don’t get the appeal.

I find great value in white rhones. The 07 Guigal CDR Blanc is wonderful and can be had for roughly $10 per.

While these wines can sometimes be less acidic than others, I think the minerality and other elements keep them fresh.

How’s the balance? What sort of pairings do you like?

I’ve had plenty that were not hot but I’ve never cared for the flavor profile and so rarely the palate feel. The ones I do like just don’t stand above other whites to make me want to purchase.

Oy vey Melissa. Am a big fan of Rhone whites, but to each his own.
Had the 98’ Ch. Beaucastel blanc, and that was other-worldly. Also, whites from Chapoutier and Cuilleron are producers I enjoy and seek out.

I have not historically been a fan of white Rhones either… But a recent 2001 Chave Hermitage Blanc may help to bring me around. It was a lovely wine and not the fat, hot, honeyed wines that I sometimes find. I don’t think it’s worth the price charged for it, but it was a delicious and balanced wine that showed me the potential…

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My sentiments exactly, Melissa. Almost always too ponderous and vapid for my palate, though every once in a while I come across a nice CDR Blanc or Condrieu. That said, even with the best ones, I almost always wish I had something else in my glass.


I love the Rhone – as long as it’s red! Some of my absolute favorite wines. I do drink white wines on occasion – dry reisling mostly. I just don’t get white Rhones – always disjointed/hot to me - and that’s been my experience with the California rhone whites too.

Gotta agree with Veronica on this one. The lesser Chateau make white wines that are to me flabby and uninspiring. The 90, 95, 98, 2001 and 2005 Beaus are terrific white wines with a little age on them. They can be hot shortly after release and need to settle down.

With 15+ years of age, Chave Hermitage blanc is one of the most sublime dry white wines on the planet. I’d take a bottle of '89 or '90 over 99% of the white Burgundy out there. In 30 years of serious drinking, those two wines are easily in my top half dozen dry whites.

Just wish it wasn’t so damn pricey. [cry.gif]

To summarize the gist of this thread, then, there actually are good white Rhones, but they 1) are pricey, 2) come only from the best producers, and 3) require some age on them before they’re enjoyable (Tyler’s recommendation of the 07 Guigal CDR Blanc notwithstanding). Damning with faint praise, sounds like.

By jove I think you’ve got it. [winner.gif]

I find that Viognier is a much different animal than Marsanne/Rousanne. I love a light flowery viognier with bright acidity. They are few and far between, but there are some.

As for the Marsanne/Rousanne, I like the better producers but they need to be VERY young or the best producers when very old (15 years plus). That in between period for me is painful.

The thing is, I’ve never-- not one time-- had a varietal Viognier wine that had bright acidity. I expected it from those Faury bottles I mentioned, but they were (to use Brad’s lingo) totally ponderous. Do you have any particular white Rhones you turn to for that brightness?

Just leave a quarter in the cup, please.

I find Faury ok, not great. I like Yves Cuilleron. Vintage matters to some extent of course.

What, the t-shirt “I” got you counts for nothin’?

Ha ha. Nice try.


Part of the problem with Cuilleron, imo, is the oak, which adds to the ponderosity. But then I’m really not much of a fan of any oak in white wine, with a few exceptions, of course.


Count Traci and me as dislikers of white Rhones - for the most part. Aged Chave is quite terrific.

That being said, one we do tend to like year in year out is 2007 Château de Vaudieu Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc. I believe it is mostly Grenache Blanc so it doesn’t have that fat, oil, slightly bitter quality that sometimes comes with Marsanne and Roussanne dominated wines.

Don’t give up, Melissa. One of these days, you’re going to come across a white Rhone that is going to win you over.

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