rhone

Rhône

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.


Red

 
 
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Domaine de l'Ameillaud

Since 1983 this 50 hectare estate has been run by Devonian Nick Thompson together with his wife Sabine, grand-daughter of the estate’s founder, Albert Rieu.  All the fruit is hand-picked and then de-stemmed prior to fermentation in concrete vats (now increasingly back in fashion).  This is a terrific source of extremely well made and remarkably inexpensive wines which represent outstanding value for money.  The domaine's buildings, just outside the village of Cairanne, are most attractive, and include two newly restored and very comfortable looking gîtes which are let to visitors.

 
Ameillaud 3
2010 Côtes du Rhône Rouge, Domaine l'Ameillaud
 2011-2020
 12 Bottles
£69.00
£112.80
60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Carignan. Lovely juicy fruit on the palate, with ripe structuring tannins. 
2011 Côtes du Rhône Rouge, Domaine l'Ameillaud
 2013-2021
 12 Bottles
£69.00
£112.80
60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Carignan. Fresh and ripe on the nose. Good fruit weight on the palate, firm ripe tannins as the wine develops in the mouth. Good balance and length. 
2012 Vin de Pays de Vaucluse, Domaine l'Ameillaud
 2014-2022
 12 Bottles
£57.50
£99.00
A blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Carignan and 10% Syrah. Very deep colour. Lovely ripe strawberry fruit, really vibrant on the palate. Juicy, balanced and long. 
2015 Vin de Pays Principauté d'Orange, L'Ameillaud
 2017-2021
 12 Bottles
£64.00
£108.00
 
2015 Cairanne, Domaine l'Ameillaud
 2018-2022
 12 Bottles
£96.50
£147.00
 
2016 Côtes du Rhône Rouge, Domaine l'Ameillaud
 2018-2021
 12 Bottles
£75.50
£123.00
Seductive, soft, ripe and integrated, this is a really attractive Côtes du Rhône. 

Château de Beaucastel

The website for Château de Beaucastel can be found at http://www.beaucastel.com

 
image domain
2015 Coudoulet de Beaucastel Rouge, Côtes du Rhône, Domaines Perrin
 2018-2023
 12 Bottles
£186.50
£255.00
 
2016 Coudoulet de Beaucastel Rouge, Côtes du Rhône, Domaines Perrin
 2019-2024
 12 Bottles
£198.00
£270.00
 
2017 Coudoulet de Beaucastel Rouge, Côtes du Rhône, Domaines Perrin
 2020-2025
 12 Bottles
£140.00
£200.40
 
2017 Châteauneuf du Pape Rouge, Château de Beaucastel x 6
 2022-2033
 6 Bottles
£240.00
£304.20
 

Brunier

2017 Gigondas Les Racines, Domaine Les Pallières, Famille Brunier x 6
 2021-2027
 6 Bottles
£111.00
£149.40
 

Domaine du Cayron

Michel Faraud and his daughters Delphine, Cendrine and Roseline produce just one wine from their 14 hectares of vines – and it is surely one of the most outstanding wines of the village of Gigondas.  Everything is done the old way – most particularly the pressing (the old vertical press is still very much in use) and the ageing in large oak foudres (although those more than 50 years old are finally being replaced with new ones).

 
Cayron cellar 1
2015 Gigondas, Domaine du Cayron
 2017-2022
 12 Bottles
£236.50
£315.00
Very deep ruby colour. Intense dark fruit scents. Sweet and ripe on the front of the palate, with lovely ripe structure, fine tannins and very good length.  

Chapoutier

M. Chapoutier is one of the greatest producers in the entire Rhône valley, and indeed this esteemed house regularly makes wines which compete with the best made anywhere in the world. Chapoutier’s wines consistently achieve an exceptional degree of terroir expression along with compelling richness and finesse; the result of outstanding old-vine vineyard sites producing tiny yields of exceptional fruit (in a typical year production ranges between only 100-700 cases of each of the famous 'Sélections Parcellaires'), combined with the expert application of biodynamic techniques in the vineyard and highly skilled, highly sensitive winemaking. Every wine is a triumph.

 
Chapoutier
2008 Ermitage Rouge Le Méal, Chapoutier x 6
 2011-2023
 6 Bottles
£425.00
£525.00
"Notes of beef blood, smoked game, tapenade, creme de cassis, and charcoal jump from the glass of the dense opaque purple-colored 2008 Ermitage Le Meal (350 cases). This chewy, thick, unctuous effort is a revelation for this vintage. 92" Robert Parker in the Wine Advocate #193 
2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Rouge Barbe Rac, Chapoutier x 6
 2016-2027
 6 Bottles
£232.50
£294.00
“Deeper and richer, with additional minerality, the 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape Barbe Rac (100% Grenache) is a brilliant looking tank sample. Loaded with mineral-laced black cherry, black currants, spice-box, licorice and crushed flowers, it hits the palate with a full-bodied, structured profile that will benefit from short-term cellaring. It should be one of the longer lived wines in the vintage and have 15 years or more of overall longevity. 93-95” Jeb Dunnock in Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. 
2014 Ermitage Rouge Le Méal, Chapoutier x 6
 2019-2039
 6 Bottles
£455.00
£562.20
"Another inky colored wine that has a touch of blue at the rim, the 2014 Ermitage Le Méal offers a liqueur of blackberry-like perfume to go with lots of wood smoke (it sees a scant 25% new oak), licorice, smoked herbs and black raspberries. Big, rich, full-bodied and layered with plenty of building tannin, it will be a candidate for 2-4 years of cellaring and drink well over the following two decades. 95-97+" Jeb Dunnuck in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate #222 
2014 Ermitage Rouge Le Pavillon, Chapoutier x 6
 2019-2049
 6 Bottles
£687.00
£840.00
"Both the Pavillon and l’Ermite see a touch more new oak, with the wine aged 18 months in 30% new French oak barrels. The 2014 Ermitage le Pavillon will without a doubt be one of the top two to three wines in the vintage; it offers an incredibly granite character in its burning embers, graphite, crème de cassis and campfire-like bouquet. Big, concentrated, full-bodied, thick and yet still with the always present hedonistic slant of this cuvee, it will need 4-5 years of cellaring and have three or more decades of longevity. 96-98" Jeb Dunnuck in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate #222 
2014 Ermitage Rouge L'Ermite, Chapoutier x 6
 2022-2052
 6 Bottles
£817.00
£996.00
"The 2014 Ermitage l’Ermite is almost painfully backwards and tight, with a liquid rock-like character permeating its lead pencil, beef blood/iodine, liquid violets, and black and blue fruits. Possessing more concentration and depth than just about every other wine I was able to taste in the vintage, this full-bodied, structured, backwards beast of an Hermitage will need 5-7 years of cellaring and keep for three decades. 96-98+" Jeb Dunnuck in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate #222 

Domaine Charvin

Laurent Charvin owns this 23 hectare estate in the heart of Châteauneuf du Pape, between Maucoil and Mont Redon.  He has 8 hectares of Châteauneuf, and a further 13 hectares of vines just beyond the appellation’s limits, classified as Côtes du Rhône.  The vineyards are planted with approximately 80% of Grenache and 20% of Syrah.  One of the most famous of the region’s small producers, with a reputation for quality established by his outstanding Châteauneuf, it should come as little surprise that the Côtes du Rhône, made mainly from very old Grenache vines, is a wine of real class.

 
Domaine Charvin   a Grenache vine planted before 1930
2016 Côtes du Rhône Rouge, Domaine Charvin
 2017-2022
 12 Bottles
£138.00
£198.00
 

Château de St Cosme

The Château de St Cosme is run by the exceptionally enthusiastic, talented - and temperamental - Louis Barruol.  The winemaking here is extraordinary, and anyone who can deal with one of the most volatile characters of the Rhône Valley has a rich seam of outstanding wines to mine.  Clarion's last meeting with Louis was not conducted in the atmosphere of cordiality that usually characterises our supplier relations, and we left having reluctantly decided that the wines we list here will be the last that we obtain directly from this fine domaine.

 
Chapelle de St Cosme
2006 Gigondas Le Claux, Château St Cosme x 6
 2014-2024
 6 Bottles
£250.00
£315.00
"The 2006 Gigondas Le Claux has a rustic, chewy feel with loads of garrigue, leather, cured meats and tar-like aromas and flavors all present. Possessing the tannic edge of the appellation, it’s a full-bodied, rich and concentrated effort to drink over the coming decade. 94" Jeb Dunnuck in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate #214 

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.

 
Courac
2014 Côtes du Rhône Rouge, Château Courac
 2016-2021
 12 Bottles
£74.00
£120.00
Lovely peppery and spiced fruit character, with fine, ripe tannins and very good length. 

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
 2013-2020
 12 Bottles
£80.00
£126.00
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
 2020-2028
 12 Bottles
£470.50
£597.00
 

Domaine Michel & Stéphane Ogier

2011 Côte Rôtie, Domaine M & S Ogier d'Ampuis
 2015-2022
 12 Bottles
£395.00
£504.00
“The 2011 Cote Rotie Classique, which included 20-30% stems in the fermentation, exhibits an opaque purple color along with a big, sweet bouquet of roasted meats, lard, graphite, cassis, black raspberries and a hint of black olives. Medium to full-bodied with terrific fruit purity, texture and length, this velvety 2011 should drink beautifully for the next 10-12 years. 91-93” Robert Parker 
2012 Côte Rôtie, Domaine M & S Ogier d'Ampuis
 2016-2028
 12 Bottles
£395.00
£504.00
"Ogier owns a number of parcels (15 to be exact) spread throughout the appellation. Coming from a blend of terroirs, the 2012 Cote Rotie Classique possesses a knockout bouquet of white pepper, blackberry, leather, and hints of game. This flows to a medium to full-bodied, elegant and finesse-driven effort that has vibrant acidity, excellent mid-palate depth and fine tannin. It should round into form with a handful of years in the cellar and evolve gracefully for 10-15 years. 90-93" Jeb Dunnuck in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate #210 

Domaine Michel & Stephane Ogier

2013 Syrah La Rosine, Domaine M & S Ogier d'Ampuis
 2016-2021
 12 Bottles
£150.00
£210.00
"The 2013 La Rosine Syrah VDP is similar in style to the 2012, with a pretty, perfumed feel in its black cherry, chocolate, floral and peppery bouquet. Medium-bodied, elegant and juicy, drink it over the coming 5-7 years. 88-90" Jeb Dunnock in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate #216 

Domaine Michel & Stéphane Ogier

2013 Côte Rôtie, Domaine M & S Ogier d'Ampuis
 2017-2024
 12 Bottles
£395.00
£504.00
"...terrific notes of white pepper, ground herbs, dark fruits, game and distinct minerality. It’s medium to full-bodied, has a textured, full mid-palate, integrated acidity and beautiful sweetness to its tannin, all suggesting it should evolve nicely. 89-92" Jeb Dunnock in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate #216 
2013 Côte Rôtie Lieux-Dits Selection, Domaine M & S Ogier d'Ampuis x 6
 2017-2024
 6 Bottles
£495.00
£612.00
A mixed case of Côte Rôtie, containing 1 bottle each of But du Mont, Fongeant, Côte Bodin, Bertholon, Montmain and La Viallière. 

Domaines Perrin

As well as the great Château de Beaucastel – probably Châteauneuf’s most famous property – the Perrins own vineyards in a number of appellations, and make wine as négociants from many more.  As you might expect, this is an extremely reliable source of beautifully made wines.

 
Foudres at Beaucastel
2017 Gigondas La Gille, Famille Perrin
 2020-2025
 12 Bottles
£153.00
£216.00
 

Etienne Pochon

A 15 hectare estate centred on the Château du Curson and owned by Etienne Pochon.  This is a fine source of high quality, mostly tank made, Crozes designed for easy and early drinking.

 
Ch Curson 2
2012 Crozes Hermitage Rouge, Etienne Pochon
 2014-2020
 12 Bottles
£118.00
£171.00
Very dark ruby red. Full of ripe, red fruit character with fine, supple and integrated tannins.  
2013 Crozes Hermitage Rouge, Etienne Pochon
 2015-2021
 12 Bottles
£118.00
£171.00
Very dark ruby colour. Full of lovely intense, briary fruit. Good length and easy balance.  

Domaine René Rostaing

René’s son Pierre is beginning to spend more of his time at the domaine, working alongside his father to ensure the continuity of style and quality.  One of the very greatest producers of Côte Rôtie, we are extremely privileged to receive an allocation of these outstanding wines.  René is a true craftsman, with a skill to fashion some of the most subtle wines of the appellation.  In old age, they take on an almost Burgundian aspect, such is their elegance and refinement.

 
Rene Rostaing 1
2011 Côte Rôtie La Landonne, Domaine René Rostaing
 2015-2023
 12 Bottles
£690.00
£858.60
"Readers looking for a slightly more masculine, muscular style should check out the 2011 Cote Rotie La Landonne. It possesses a dense, saturated purple color as well as abundant notes of charcoal/creosote, truffles, blackberries and cassis. Full-bodied, moderately tannic, dense and atypically rich, long and structured for a 2011, it will benefit from 3-4 years of cellaring, and drink well over the following 15 years. 90-92+" Robert Parker 
2011 Côte Rôtie Côte Blonde, Domaine René Rostaing
 2015-2023
 12 Bottles
£720.00
£894.00
"Rostaing’s top cuvee nearly every year is the Cote Rotie Cote Blonde, which comes from two great sites, Moulin and Chatillonne. The 2011 was co-fermented with a small percentage of Viognier (2-3%) and 100% stems were employed. A stunning nose of caramelized exotic fruits intermixed with raspberries, black currants, licorice and camphor jumps from the glass of this perfumed, expansive, silky smooth Cote Rotie. Medium to full-bodied and seductive with stunning concentration and opulence, this is one of the stars of the vintage. 92-95" Robert Parker 
2012 Côte Rôtie Ampodium (Classique), Domaine René Rostaing
 2015-2022
 12 Bottles
£395.00
£504.00
"The 2012 Cote Rotie Ampodium, which is named after the Romain name for Ampuis, sees the most destemming (somewhere around 75% destemmed), comes from 13 different terroirs, and is aged in both demi-muid and older barrels (Rene only uses roughly 5% new oak for all his cuvees). It offers a pure, classical and yet supple profile, with beautiful, peppery and spice-driven aromas, as well as a core of vibrant berry fruit. It should be approachable on release, yet evolve gracefully for 10-15 years. 91-93" Jeb Dunnuck in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate #210 
2013 Côte Rôtie Ampodium (Classique), Domaine René Rostaing
 2016-2023
 12 Bottles
£430.00
£546.00
 
2016 Côte Rôtie Ampodium (Classique), Domaine René Rostaing
 2019-2026
 12 Bottles
£548.00
£690.00
 
2017 Côte Rôtie Ampodium (Classique), Domaine René Rostaing
 2020-2027
 12 Bottles
£480.00
£608.40
 

Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe

 
image domain
2016 Châteauneuf du Pape Rouge, Le Crau, Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe x 6
 2020-2027
 6 Bottles
£271.50
£342.00
 
2017 Châteauneuf du Pape Rouge, Le Crau, Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe x 6
 2021-2028
 6 Bottles
£259.50
£327.60
 

Rosé

 
 
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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.

 
Courac
2013 Côtes du Rhône Rosé, Château Courac
 2014-2020
 12 Bottles
£77.50
£123.00
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.  

White

 
 
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Château de Beaucastel

The website for Château de Beaucastel can be found at http://www.beaucastel.com

 
image domain
2017 Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc, Château de Beaucastel x 6
 2019-2022
 6 Bottles
£240.00
£304.20
 
2017 Roussanne Vieilles Vignes, Château de Beaucastel x 3
 2019-2024
 3 Bottles
£255.00
£314.10
 

Chapoutier

M. Chapoutier is one of the greatest producers in the entire Rhône valley, and indeed this esteemed house regularly makes wines which compete with the best made anywhere in the world. Chapoutier’s wines consistently achieve an exceptional degree of terroir expression along with compelling richness and finesse; the result of outstanding old-vine vineyard sites producing tiny yields of exceptional fruit (in a typical year production ranges between only 100-700 cases of each of the famous 'Sélections Parcellaires'), combined with the expert application of biodynamic techniques in the vineyard and highly skilled, highly sensitive winemaking. Every wine is a triumph.

 
Chapoutier
2016 St Joseph Blanc Les Granits, Chapoutier x 6
 2020-2027
 6 Bottles
£198.00
£253.80
 
2017 Ermitage Blanc de L'Orée, Chapoutier x 6
 2019-2035
 6 Bottles
£725.00
TBA
 

Domaine Michel & Stéphane Ogier

2017 Viognier de Rosine, Domaine Stéphane Ogier x 6
 2019-2022
 6 Bottles
£78.00
£109.80
 

Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe

 
image domain
2017 Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc, Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe x 6
 2019-2022
 6 Bottles
£199.50
£255.60
 

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