I'm Close to Giving Up on Southern Rhone [6.14.15 update]

So I’m trying to get in to a nice French mode tonight in preparation for the Oprah-Lance tete-a-tete. I’m thinking tears and emotions, so my thoughts lead me to Southern Rhone for warmth and spice. Unfortunately, it’s really heat. Seems like everything I pop is heat. An '09 is HOT. Pop a '10, and its HOT. Not sure what is going on with my '07s.

[Slight digression as I just spilled a glass on my wife and the couch . . . wow, what a faux pas]

I’m back.

To place things into context, I’ve been drinking Southern Rhones for close to 20 years. I’m a Bordeaux guy at heart (and Northern Rhone and Chinon), but Southern Rhones have always been my go-to daily drinkers. Historically inexpensive; historically decent quality. And food friendly. I’ve always had a soft spot of Gigondas and CDP, too.

[wife just got out of the shower after her wine shower . . . not happy with me]

I bought tons of '07. Not sure what to expect from the luxury cuvees, but I will admit to having enjoyed lots of cotes du rhones from that vintage. Some were ridiculously scaled, but others quite nice.

[wife still yelling at me]

I have not found many '09s or '10s, however, that work for me. Even some of my go-to estates for quality CDRs are too ripe, to extracted, too high in alcohol. Seems likes 15%+ is becoming the norm.

[i think the couch is in bad shape]

I swear this is not a Board zeitgeist thingy; this is me and my palate. I am taking a hiatus from Southern Rhone. I have some of my favorites still on order, like 2010 Pegau, some Ct. Cosme and Clos de Papes, but I’m pulling the plug on any more orders. Perhaps those wines already on order may change my opinion, but for now, I’m just moving on.

Ironically, I think Northern Rhone is crushing it.

Okay, 5 minutes 'til LA tears.

I still love my '01s and older. I pretty much enjoy every bottle I open! I have a few '04s and '06s. Other than that it’s been a pass for me.

I did.

2001 is my favorite Southern Rhone vintage in the last 15 years.

Eric Texier
Bois de Boursan

All hope is not lost.

Sorry to hear the 09 and 10 are even more hot and candied than the 07s!

I’m bummed I have 6 bottles of 07s in Clos des Papes and VT as it is.

Unsurprisingly, I’ve had great success buying $20 southern rhones from Chambers St. Can give specific recs when I’m not on a phone.


If you still have those Clos des Papes in your possession when I move back to L.A. in a year and a half, I would probably be interested in getting you your money back on those bottles, assuming you didn’t pay a stupid price for them.

Yea, Chambers is fantastic. I order Northern Rhones and Chinons from them. I have not ordered CDRs just because I was not willing to pay shipping costs for daily drinkers when I can source so many CDRs locally. My thoughts will change though, so lay me on some recos!

2007 magnums of CdP with sushi and seaweed salad are among my favorite pairings.

More for me! [snort.gif] I’ve had several 2010 Southern Rhones that I’ve been really impressed by. They’re powerful, yes, but theyve had great acidity, ample character (including loads of garrigue at times) and plenty of balance. The 2010 Saint Cosme Deux Albion in particular is an incredible value.

I hope my palate agrees with you on the 2010 le Deux Albion. I have a 6-pack on order. I have always liked this estate. I bought the Gigondas, but have not popped any yet.

Impossible to say but I found it to have wonderful secondary characteristics and while the fruit provides a great canvas for the wine it never gets in the way. It will show into the midpalate but a number of notes build on top of it. The terroir is very present as well so if you enjoy garrigue you’ll like how well it bookends the wine.

I will note though that I think it may be heading into a potential closed phase within the next year or so. If you receive your order soon I recommend opening one soon to judge for yourself. I think it will age over the midterm gracefully though.

FWIW, I think it’s a steal for the price. I went back to the local wine shop after having a bottle and they only had one left. I would have bought everything they had left.

I know where you’re coming from Robert, but I finished up an 09 Texier Seguret tonight, and it was old-time grenache. It tasted like grenache. Just what the doctor ordered.

I still find Guigal’s Cotes du Rhone does the trick, too, though it’s pretty syrah-heavy now.

One never gives up on '01 clos des pape!!

I think I drank my last one with you, biyatch!!!

And my last Usseglio MA!

So whatcha bringing in return?

I got them from KL so depends on your definition of stupid. PM me. Have the 2006 version and got some Vieux Donjon and VT too if you wanna take them all :wink:

Brian -

I will sell you my Clos de Papes CHEAP . . . but . . . but . . . you gotta take my other '07s to! :wink:

Ha! Thanks, Robert! … but, No thanks. neener

Robert, I feel certain you’ve posted on the 2010 Deux Albion on this board! Maybe not. It’s tremendous. I’ve drunk four of my seven bottles, and am trying to keep my hands off the rest for a while. The base Gigondas is very, very tight, so I’d hold off.

Anyway, my notes aren’t detailed, mostly just trying to keep track of what I liked. Here’s some from my recent stash from Chambers:

  • 2009 Domaine Laguerre Côtes du Roussillon Le Ciste Rouge - France, Languedoc Roussillon, Roussillon, Côtes du Roussillon (1/16/2013)
    Another solid southern rhone from Chambers. Perhaps a small amount of brett, but otherwise nothing to complain about. All the notes you’d expect, good balance, no rush to drink.

Huge nose of dark berries and earth which carries through to the palate. Slightly marred by heat, but overall very nice depth and length. A joy to drink, and one of the top sub-$20 Rhones I’ve had.

Posted from CellarTracker

I also got a bottle of 2009 Oratoire St Martin locally; I have a bottle of the 2010 on the way from Chambers. My hope is that the 2010 Ferme St-Martin will have a little less heat than the 2009.

Instead of thinking it as shipping daily drinkers, I think of it as paying a little more for a near guarantee that I’ll like the wine. My hit rate for sub-$20 wines (both northern and southern) is so much higher at Chambers than it is at local shops, I keep buying them.