TN: Southern Rhones

Notes from a tasting of Southern Rhone wines:

2020 Domaine Notre Dame des Pallieres Cotes du Rhone Villages Sablet Montmartel - runner up for the longest name award. Fairly light colour, an interesting pineapple mango nose, clean and balanced. Made from Roussanne, Viognier Grenache Blanc and Marsanne.

1993 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Cuvée Roussanne Vieilles Vignes – from my cellar, this is one of the most profound white wines I have tasted. It is made in small amounts from 60+ year old vines whenever the quality allows. It was light amber, and the nose was sweet though the wine isn’t. There were elements of honey and oxidation in the nose but on palate it was pure clean concentrated fruit – some tropical and some like slightly salty apricots. Exceptional finish. You expect a sweet wine but get pure bottled sunshine – this has always been a conversation stopper. Almost always scored over 95 points (for whatever that is worth) and sells for a good buck. Don’t confuse it with the regular CNduP white – it has to be the VV version.

1989 Jaboulet Chateauneuf du Papes Les Cedres – the colour was getting Burgundian and the nose was a decent typical one with hints of meat and iron with some mint up front. Smooth with a medium length finish. Respectable showing for the age (my last bottle). As I type the next day I have the last of it in a glass beside me and it has held up very well.

2006 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape – usually a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Cinsault. This is the basic wine (I usually buy the Cuvee Chaupin which Grenache and comes from different areas). The wine had good dark colour an some nice plummy fruit notes with an interesting cocoa hint in the nose. It picked up some spice as it aired.

2006 Domaine de la Mordorée “Reine des Bois” Châteauneuf-du-Pape – dark, with a nose of dark sweet fruit with some spice. Still a fair bit of tannin, and the garrigue came out on the nose with a bit of time. Smooth in the mouth and will good length. Nice showing.

2005 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée – this one is coming on line now (especially if you bought in 500 ml size as I did) Dark, warm, smooth with a killer minty, gamy nose, that picked up some forest floor notes with time. Good showing – will schedule some of mine for mid term tasting.

2011 Tardieu-Laurent Vacqueyras Vieilles Vignes – quite dark as usual for this producer, with a gamy leathery nose with some earth. Still a fair bit of tannin, full bodied. Not refined but tasty.

2018 Château de la Roulerie Coteaux du Layon Chaume – (cheese wine need not be in theme). Light amber colour, very nice nose of dried fruit (raisins, lychee etc. Honey and gooseberry and good length. Nice way to end the tasting.


What a lovely spectrum.