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Rhone 2016 En Primeur

We believe 2016 to be an extremely good vintage in the northern Rhône and, some are saying that it is possibly, the greatest vintage in the 30-40 years in the southern Rhône. Personally having tasted c150 wines this month, that it's very, very good but 2010 is in my opinion just, and only just the better vintage. It will be interesting to track these wines, which are undeniably incredibly vibrant and perfumed. One thing is for sure, it's an outstanding and hugely attractive vintage.

The northern Rhône experienced a cloudy, wet spring and flowering was retarded by 2-3 weeks. By the end of July, the weather turned hot and very dry, which continued until some much-needed rains fell during the first week of September. A lovely Indian summer then lasted well into October and producers were able to pick, at leisure, in ideal conditions.

According to Yves Cuilleron, “2016 is a great vintage, with good balancing acidity, alcohol and aromas. It is not fat and will age well. 2016 is like 2010. There was late and gentle maturation and great weather at the end. We could pick at the ideal moment.” Our tasting notes are littered with words like aromatic, purity, freshness, juicy and elegance.

The southern Rhône experienced a warm, dry spring and flowering, generally, went very well. Fine weather continued into the summer, with sufficient rainfall to enable ripening to continue unhindered. August enjoyed very hot days and very cool nights – and there lies the secret to a vintage which many describe as better than 1990 or 2010! The balance between gorgeous, generous, ripe seductive fruit and pristine “coolness”, freshness and purity is, in our experience, unprecedented.

In Daniel Brunier’s opinion “The vintage is characterised by a superb balance of richness and freshness and between high maturity and attractive acidity, which is fairly rare – very rare, even – in the southern Rhône Valley.” These are sublimely attractive wines from the very top of the hierarchy down to basic Côtes du Rhône.

Given the expected paucity of 2017's, this is a vintage well worth exploring and buying a little more of.

All wines will be shipped either Spring 2018 or Autumn 2018 (there may be the odd exception).

Domaine Lionel (Philippe) Faury

Philippe and his son Lionel are now making some of the best wine in the region. They are certainly very good value.

No wines for these new releases at the moment. Please come back soon.

Domaine Mordorée

Having featured in his own French TV programme Christophe Delorme is well and truly a superstar winemaker. But it was not for his rugged good looks or charming family that he was chosen, though he has both. Christophe is also one of the very best vignerons in the country (and the world according to a rather influential Baltimore-based writer) and makes beautifully supple and complex wines from Lirac and Châteauneuf du Pape. Beware, limited quantities and waiting lists lie ahead.
As ever we don't get much of the Châteauneuf du Pape Reine des Bois and it helps to buy other wines to get an allocation. The white Lirac Reine des Bois is like many 16 whites, really attractive- floral, perfumed with plenty of weight and spice on the palate. The red wines are exceptional. The Lirac La Dame Rousse is a great value, it has a lovely core of ripe berry fruit with spice and ripe tannins. Both the Reine des Bois wines are as good as I have tasted, full and rich with gobs of sweet fruit and spice, the Lirac will be delicious in a few years, the Châteauneuf du Pape needs more time but will be sensational. Likewise the super value Châteauneuf du Pape 'La Dame Voyageuse' a touch closed at present, savoury and meaty with great potential.

No wines for these new releases at the moment. Please come back soon.

Domaine Roger Sabon

“Jean-Jacques and his family continue to produce reference point wines at all different levels as thus is one of the top estate in Chateauneuf du Pape.” Robert Parker

All their cuvees are very impressive from ‘Le Secret’ made in tiny quantities, 2000 bottles, from vineyards of over 100 years old to the cuvee ‘Les Olivets’, which must be one of the best value wines produced in the appellation.
The Lirac which is here already gives a lovely snapshot of the vintage being bright and juicy, full of perfumed berry fruit and spice.
The Chateauneuf's were all extremely impressive, the Olivets the best I have tasted, and the Reserve really fine, big and powerful yet with excellent acidity. The Prestige is juicy and dense, red and black fruits, almost a bitter-sweet character with meat and spice, powerful yet already it's beautifully balanced. These will age very well.
Secret de Sabon is likely to be a max of 3 bottles per customer, and ideally to be ordered with other wines.

No wines for these new releases at the moment. Please come back soon.

Domaine Vincent Paris

A now established superstar of Cornas, Vincent Paris manages his roughly 20-acre estate to produce three Cornas; the Granit 30, which comes from younger vines located lower on the slope, in the lieu-dit Mazards; the Granite 60, which includes the older vines of the estate (and comes from steeper, higher elevation slopes); and the La Geynale, which comes from a single plot of 100-year-old vines located mostly in the Renard lieu-dit (it is also the only wine to not see any destemming). With regards to the Granit 30 and Granit 60, the number refers to the slope of the hill where the vines are planted, not the age of the vines.
I was blown away by the quality of these wines in 2016. The Cornas Granit 30 is incredibly forward -juicy with lovely bright red berry fruit with lots of spice. The Granit 60 is bigger, more savoury and meaty, with a mouth-filling palate full of lovely ripe berry fruits, oak and spice on the long finish. Stunning. The Geynale is always the most backward, and it is again in 2016, however the fruit is really ripe and sweet alongside roasted meats and spice it's incredibly impressive. Long with ripe tannins and a minerality, it has a great future. Despite the amazing press Paris has had, and the great quality, prices remain very fair.

No wines for these new releases at the moment. Please come back soon.


Fondrèche is a textbook case of how a talented vigneron in a not so fashionable appellation can produce quality-to-price ratio miracles. Sébastien Vincenti has been making fabulous wines in the Ventoux for years and has a passionate following amongst Noel Young Wines. Syrah-dominated, his red blends display a remarkable complexity and drinkability. He continues to set a very high benchmark for everyone in Ventoux to follow.

No wines for these new releases at the moment. Please come back soon.

Francois Villard

François’ operation is a great example of the modern Rhône; a relative newcomer (he started in the wine game just over fifteen years ago) there has been extensive investment in his winery and cuverie, and selection of the parcels of grapes is bordering on the profligate. The resulting wines are then treated to the best wood money can buy; be it new or older. A more expressive, passionate and driven vigneron you will not come across.

No wines for these new releases at the moment. Please come back soon.

Pierre Gaillard

Having cut his teeth by working for Guigal in the 80s (Pierre had the equally arduous and loving task of tending the La Turque vineyard) and actually owning more red vines than white, you’d expect Pierre Gaillard to have made his reputation on Côte Rôties and Saint Josephs. Not so; the name Gaillard is interchangeable with Condrieu wines of the very best quality. As well as the Northern Rhône, the ever busy vigneron has projects in Banyuls and Faugères.

No wines for these new releases at the moment. Please come back soon.

Rene Rostaing

2x6 Ampodium required for 1x6 Cote Blonde allocation.

No wines for these new releases at the moment. Please come back soon.

Vignobles Mayard

No wines for these new releases at the moment. Please come back soon.

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Winelist last updated: 18/07/2018 19:42:58

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