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 Jean Paul Versino

Jean Versino founded this domaine in 1955, and his son, Jean-Paul, has built on his father’s work, establishing a name for himself as one of the best producers in Châteauneuf.  There are many different parcels of vines - some 27 in all - covering the four main grape varieties (Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Cinsault), as well as the many differing terroirs of the appellation.  They add up to about 16 hectares in total, with the whole production aged in oak, mostly very large foudres, from which the wine is bottled after 18 months to 2 years ageing.

Versino cellar 1


2018 Châteauneuf du Pape Rouge, Domaine Jean-Paul Versino
 12 Bottles

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