While we may refer to the Rhône Valley as if it were one region, it is in reality two - the Northern Rhône and the Southern Rhône. They are quite distinct in character in almost every respect, and are indeed separated by a good hour's motorway driving. In the north, the climate more closely resembles that of Burgundy; other aspects are also similar - there are a great many small producers, working alongside a handful of famous négociants (best known are Chapoutier and Guigal). In addition, the wines of the north are made largely from a single grape variety (Syrah for all the reds; Viognier for Condrieu; and Roussanne and Marsanne for the other white appellations).

In the south, the climate is markedly hotter, bearing a much closer resemblance to the Languedoc and other distinctively Mediterranean regions. The wines are mostly blended from a number of varieties - as many as thirteen in the case of Châteauneuf du Pape. The whole character of the south, with its heat, wind (Mistral) and dust conjours up an atmosphere much more akin to the Mediterranean basin than to northern Europe. Châteauneuf itself, dominated by the ruins of the great medieval papal fortress, epitomises this in every respect. In both north and south, we concentrate largely on the wines of individual domaines, where we believe the most distinctive styles are made.

Château Courac

Frédéric & Josephine Arnaud have run this 88 hectare estate since 1995.  Courac is in the hills, high up above the village of Tresques, north-west of Châteauneuf du Pape, and benefits from extremely well drained soils and very good exposure to the Mistral.  Since taking over the property, the Arnauds have worked with remarkable energy to restore the vineyards and winery, with the intention of making largely tank-made wines which show maximum purity of fruit.  Their prices are also extraordinarily reasonable, making these among the best value wines in our portfolio.



2014 Côtes du Rhône Rouge, Château Courac
 12 Bottles
Lovely peppery and spiced fruit character, with fine, ripe tannins and very good length. 


2013 Côtes du Rhône Rosé, Château Courac
 12 Bottles
Beautifully and fashionably pale salmon/onion skin colour, with a nose of fresh, fleshy strawberries and soft red fruit. Soft and succulent on the palate with fine balancing acidity. Lovely fruit weight fills the mouth and there is lots of lingering fruit on the finish. This is a wine that is delicious both on its own and with food.  

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