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.

Domaine Font de Michelle

Font de Michelle owes its current form to Etienne Gonnet, who worked closely with his brother-in-law Henri Brunier of Vieux Télégraphe – the neighbouring estate in Bédarrides.  It is now owned by his sons Michel and Jean, and largely run by their sons Guillaume and Bertrand respectively, with the help of Guillaume’s Australian wife, Kelly.

Barrel of Syrah, Dom Font de Michelle


2011 Côtes du Rhône Villages Signargues, Notre Passion, La Font du Vent, Famille Gonnet
 12 Bottles
A blend of Syrah and Grenache (50/50). Fabulously aromatic, rich, ripe, spicy, dark fruit nose. Dense and textured dark cherry and damson fruit on the palate. Lovely spiced fruit with overtones of coffee and ginger on the finish. 
2016 Châteauneuf du Pape Rouge, Cuvée Etienne Gonnet, Domaine Font de Michelle
 12 Bottles

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