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Rhone Valley

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Chante Cigale Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc 2018 (1x 75cl)

The 2016 vintaqge was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2017 edition review of Southern Rhone Whites (see blue link below)

Chante Cigale CdP 2016 - Aug 2017 Decanter review

Domaine Chante Cigale is situated on the left bank of the Rhône, between Orange and Sorgues, on a variety of soils which contain a high proportion of ‘galets.’ These are the large stones of Châteauneuf-du-Pape which heat up during the day and release their heat at night, allowing the grapes to achieve maximum ripeness. The white is fresh and attractive and an interesting alternative to the ubiquitous Chardonnay. Since taking over the running of the estate from his father over ten years ago, Alexandre Favier has transformed the quality of the wines, which now rank amongst the very best of the appellation.

The grapes for this wine are harvested manually and go through a selective sorting process to ensure that only the best quality grapes are used in the winemaking process.  The wine is fermented in both stainless steel (70%) and wood (30%).  It then spends 6 months on its fine lees before being bottled.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Chante Cigale.

Chante Cigale Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc - fiche technique

This wine is fragrant, with aromas that are reminiscent of almond and peach blossom. The palate is wonderfully smooth with a silky textured balance of dried apricot fruit and fresh, apply acidity.

This wine is a particularly good match for fish and also works well with smoked ham dishes.  It also compliments slightly spicy dishes as well as traditional Mediterranean cuisine.

£27.15

Cuilleron Condrieu La Petite Cote 2017 (1x 75cl)

Cave Cuilleron is, above all, a family estate. A passion for wine has been in their genes for three generations. They stand out due to their use of advanced viticulture wedded with bespoke winemaking. 

Yves pays extra-special care to the quality of his vines, and rejects “off-the-shelf ideas”. His vision of viticulture is highly personal: not conventional, not organic, and not biodynamic. He has a simple philosophy: “Grow the best possible grapes.”

As the vineyards cannot be mechanised, much labour is required and the vines receive “haute couture” treatment. Careful management of the growth cycle is another hallmark of distinguished savoir-faire. Low vine vigour, leaf-thinning and green harvesting allow maximum ventilation, reduce sensitivity to disease, and improve grape quality. All their grapes are grown to integrated methods and carry no certification labels – in other words, no standards or regulations constrain their conception of wine.

This approach to grape-growing takes the form of respectful manual treatment. They carry out the fewest treatments possible. No insecticides and only small amounts of organic fertiliser define a unique method that deeply respects the balance of the soil. Such consideration is essential, and a prerequisite for a promising future.

To see an excellent tasting note for this wine please click on the blue link below to see a fiche technique prepared by Cuilleron themselves.

Cuilleron Condrieu La Petite Côte 2017 - fiche technique

£42.25

Domaine De La Janasse Cotes Du Rhone Blanc 2018 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintage was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2017 edition review of Southern Rhone Whites (see blue link below)

Domaine de la Janasse CdR blanc 2015 - Aug 2017 Decanter review

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Domaine de la Janasse.

Domaine De La Janasse Cotes Du Rhone Blanc - fiche technique

50% Grenache, 15% Clairette, 15% Bourboulenc, 10% Viognier, 10% Roussanne.

Bone dry with real power. Aromas of peach and apricot, excellent concentration on the palate with vibrant acidity, a full mouthfeel and refreshing acidity on the finish.

£15.60

Domaine de la Janasse Viognier Vin de Pays de la Principaute dOrange 2018 (1x 75cl)

This cuvée stems from a unique pebble terroir on the edge of the appellation of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a short distance from the La Crau plateau. It is made only using Viognier. The vines are grown without pesticides or insecticides and manure is natural. The land is worked without herbicide to maintain ventilation and flexibility to the soil. Yields are around of 50 hl/ha.

Grapes are pneumatically pressing and macerated in vat. The wine is aged on its lees, 60% in vat and 40% in barriques (25% new) for 6 months.

This wine is 100% Viognier.

As the Domaine says, "a well-born Viognier, with strong personality, very fresh but with the southern muscle". Ideal for an aperitif or a mesclun salad and scallops. Serve within the next three years.The nose is fresh, fruity and aromatic, with ripe tropical and dried fruit characteristics. The palate is medium bodied with a succulent texture, balanced alcohol and acidity and a great concentration of dried fruit flavours, such as apricot and peach, with a honeyed, silky finish. This an IGP Viognier of impeccable breeding.

£17.60

Domaine de Mourchon La Source AOP Cotes du Rhone 2017 (1x 75cl)

We also highly recommend the rest of the Domaine de Mourchon range, click here.

Set in a secluded valley between the picturesque village of Séguret and Mont Ventoux, Domaine de Mourchon was created by the McKinlay family in 1998. The vineyard had some twenty hectares of mature vines but no facility to make wine so, using modern technology and high standards, a winery was constructed and completed in 2000. They are currently in the process of converting to organic farming and expect to be fully certified in 2020.

35% Grenache Blanc, 25% Roussanne, 15% Marsanne, 15% Viognier, 10% Clairette and Bourboulenc from a mixture of clay, limestone and grey sandstone soils on steep slopes. Vine age is 25-30 years. Yields are low for a white Cotes du Rhone at just 40 hl/ha, creating a  wine of much greater concentration/intensity.

The grapes undergo a direct pressing followed by a low temperature fermentation.

A straw coloured wine, with the delicate nose showing subtle floral aromas and hints of peaches and apricots. A full wine that has notes of honey and citrus on the finish.

Enjoy as an aperitif, or with a wide range of lighter dishes, mixed salads and cheeses.

£12.00

Domaine Georges Vernay Condrieu 'Terrasses de L'Empire' 2011 (1x 75cl)

Georges Vernay is known as the "King of Condrieu" and was responsible for the growth and worldwide recognition of this small appellation during the 1950s. His estate covers 22 hectares of vineyards, six of which are in the Côte Rôtie appellation. The steep and uneven vineyards make mechanical labour impossible. The vines are manually cultivated without the use of residual herbicide or insecticide. Georges' daughter, Christine, returned to her roots with Paul Anselem, her Parisian husband, and has looked after the winemaking since 1997, gaining worldwide recognition for her Côte Rôtie wines.

A patchwork of small plots covering four hectares in the lieu-dits of Sainte Agathe and La Caille located in the heart of Condrieu. The vines are planted on steep South facing granite, biotite terraces where the use of machines is impossible; therefore the vineyard is maintained manually and without the use of weed killers or insecticides. The average age of vines is 35 years and they are planted on Richter 100 rootstocks and trained to the simple Guyot method. Planted at a density of between 8,000 to 10,000 vines per hectare, they yield 35 hectolitres per hectare.

The grapes were manually harvested at full maturity of 13 to14 degrees, they were then meticulously sorted and pressed. After a static temperature controlled must settling, the clear juice was fermented in 20 hectolitre oak vats, lasting approximately four to five weeks. The wine was matured on its fine lees in both oak barrels and vats.

Pure peach and apricot aromas are lifted with hints of acacia flowers. Full and creamy with a distinctive mineral expression and a subtle Condrieu saline complexity supporting the ripe stone fruit flavours. This is a pure expression of a very fine Viognier.

Delicious served at room temperature with seared scallops in a rich, creamy sauce; lobster; game and mature cheese.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£51.60

Domaine Georges Vernay Condrieu 'Terrasses de L'Empire' 2017 (1x75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2018 review of the 2016 vintage in the Northern Rhone (see blue link below).

Vernay Terrasses de l'Empire Condrieu 2016 - May 2018 Decanter review

The 2015 vintage was awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2018 edition panel article, "Steven Spurrier's Fine Wine World(see blue link below).

Vernay Terrasses de l'Empire Condrieu 2015 - January 2018 Decanter review

Georges Vernay is known as the "King of Condrieu" and was responsible for the growth and worldwide recognition of this small appellation during the 1950s. His estate covers 22 hectares of vineyards, six of which are in the Côte Rôtie appellation. The steep and uneven vineyards make mechanical labour impossible. The vines are manually cultivated without the use of residual herbicide or insecticide. Georges' daughter, Christine, returned to her roots with Paul Anselem, her Parisian husband, and has looked after the winemaking since 1997, gaining worldwide recognition for her Côte Rôtie wines.

A patchwork of small plots covering four hectares in the lieu-dits of Sainte Agathe and La Caille located in the heart of Condrieu. The vines are planted on steep South facing granite, biotite terraces where the use of machines is impossible; therefore the vineyard is maintained manually and without the use of weed killers or insecticides. The average age of vines is 35 years and they are planted on Richter 100 rootstocks and trained to the simple Guyot method. Planted at a density of between 8,000 to 10,000 vines per hectare, they yield 35 hectolitres per hectare.

The grapes were manually harvested at full maturity of 13 to14 degrees, they were then meticulously sorted and pressed. After a static temperature controlled must settling, the clear juice was fermented in 20 hectolitre oak vats, lasting approximately four to five weeks. The wine was matured on its fine lees in both oak barrels and vats.

Pure peach and apricot aromas are lifted with hints of acacia flowers. Full and creamy with a distinctive mineral expression and a subtle Condrieu saline complexity supporting the ripe stone fruit flavours. This is a pure expression of a very fine Viognier.

Delicious served at room temperature with seared scallops in a rich, creamy sauce; lobster; game and mature cheese.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£60.55

Domaine Yves Cuilleron Condrieu Les Chaillets Vieilles Vignes 2017 (1x 75cl)

Yves Cuilleron pays extra-special care to the quality of his vines, and rejects “off-the-shelf ideas”. His vision of viticulture is highly personal: not conventional, not organic, and not biodynamic. He has a simple philosophy: “Grow the best possible grapes.”

As Cuilleron's vineyards cannot be mechanised, much labour is required and the vines receive “haute couture” treatment. Careful management of the growth cycle is another hallmark of distinguished savoir-faire. Low vine vigour, leaf-thinning and green harvesting allow maximum ventilation, reduce sensitivity to disease, and improve grape quality. "All our grapes are grown to integrated methods and carry no certification labels" – in other words, no standards or regulations constrain their conception of wine. This approach to grape-growing takes the form of respectful manual treatment. They carry out the fewest treatments possible – three to five per year. No insecticides and only small amounts of organic fertiliser define a unique method that deeply respects the balance of the soil. Such consideration is essential, and a prerequisite for a promising future.

This wine is 100% Viognier.

To see an information sheet and tasting note for this wine that has been produced by the team at Domaine Yves Cuilleron, please click on the the blue link below.

Domaine Yves Cuilleron Condrieu Les Chaillets 2017 - fiche technique

£56.65

Maison Les Alexandrins, Condrieu 2017 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their July 2018 focus on the Jaboulet family (see blue link below).

Maison Les Alexandrins, Condrieu 2017 - July 2018 Decanter review

Maison Les Alexandrins is the newly renamed collaboration between Nicolas Jaboulet, formerly of the eponymous winery in Tain, winemaker Guillaume Sorrel and viticulturalist Alexandre Caso. Each person brings their expertise to this micro-négociant, an extension of Domaine Les Alexandrins, established in 2015. The aim of Maison Les Alexandrins remains the same: to buy parcels of fruit from some of the top growers in each appellation in the Northern Rhône. Maison and Domaine Les Alexandrins will soon be a permanent fixture in the Northern Rhône with a new winery under construction in Tain-l’Hermitage.

The main stone found in Condrieu is granite. On the surface the soil is covered with decomposed granite and loess. This soil is perfectly suited to Viognier and the vines benefit from excellent sunshine. When looking for growers, Marc and Nicolas wished to limit their research to Côteau de Cherry and Côteau de Rozay that have a bit of altitude and where the wines have a good balance and more importantly great freshness.

The 2017 vintage began with a mild winter, followed by lower temperatures in May with some heavy rain during the flowering period, which led to a reduction in yields. By mid-June, the weather improved, becoming warm and dry, ideal growing conditions for the grapes. The wines give an impression of opulence, concentration and generosity. Ageing will allow the wines to soften and slowly find their balance.

The bunches were pressed followed by a long fermentation at low temperatures of 12-15°C. 20% of the wine was aged in oak barrels to bring richness and body to the wine, and the remaining 80% was put in stainless steel tanks to preserve freshness and fruit aromas. It was aged for eight months in total before bottling.

100% Viognier.

This wine is pale yellow in colour. The nose is aromatic, with candied lemon peel and ripe stone fruit aromas, sweet spice and honeysuckle notes. The palate is creamy, balanced and has a long finish.

£41.40

Maison Les Alexandrins, Crozes-Hermitage Blanc 2018

Maison Les Alexandrins is the newly renamed collaboration between Nicolas Jaboulet, formerly of the eponymous winery in Tain, winemaker Guillaume Sorrel and viticulturalist Alexandre Caso. Each person brings their expertise to this micro-négociant, an extension of Domaine Les Alexandrins, established in 2015. The aim of Maison Les Alexandrins remains the same: to buy parcels of fruit from some of the top growers in each appellation in the Northern Rhône. Maison and Domaine Les Alexandrins will soon be a permanent fixture in the Northern Rhône with a new winery under construction in Tain-l’Hermitage.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical & tasting note from the winemakers at Alexandrins.

Maison Les Alexandrins, Crozes-Hermitage Blanc 2018 - fiche technique

65% Marsanne. 35% Roussanne.

This wine is bursting with fresh apples and bright citrus fruit perfumes. Fermented in two and three-year-old barrels, followed by five months lees ageing, it has body and complexity.

£23.85

Maison les Alexandrins, Viognier 2018 (1x 75cl)

The Viognier is grown at high altitude, with the vines located in the mountainous part of the Ardèche. Bottled in early Spring to preserve freshness and aromatics, it has a beautiful tension, with citrus and white flowers and crisp mineral finish.

£12.85

Paul Jaboulet Aine Condrieu Domaine Grands Amandiers 2016 (1x 75cl)

Since the early 19th Century, Paul Jaboulet Ainé has been synonymous with quality wine in the Rhône Valley. Jaboulet’s Hermitages - white and red - and most of their upper wines - are the stuff of legend. The famous Rhone winery was bought by the Frey family in 2006. The Freys, owners of Chateau la Lagune in Bordeaux, saw the potential of the vineyards. They brought renewed energy to this corner of France and to one of its greatest names.

Treasured by the Popes of Avignon in the 14th Century, the story of Condrieu has evolved alongside the history of France. At the beginning of the last century, only about 10 hectares of vineyards remained. The creation of the Condrieu AOC  in 1940, however, paved the way for the rebirth of Condrieu and its ascension to the greatest heights among the white wines of France today.

Soil: Granite broken down into arenite (sand). Average vine age: 25 years+. 

100% Viognier. Bunches of grapes pressed whole, then fermented in oak barrels, 15% of which are made from brand new wood. Subsequently Aged in French oak barrels for 10 months.

Floral aromas (lily of the valley, jasmine) merge superbly with fruity aroamas (apricot, lychee). On the palate, a fresh, mineral attack with great persistence. A superbly balanced wine, with great length and elegance to spare.

£66.75

Paul Jaboulet Aine Cotes du Rhone Blanc Secret de Famille 2018 (1x75cl)

Since the early 19th century Paul Jaboulet Aine has been synonymous with quality wine in the Rhone. In 1834, Antoine Jaboulet (1807-1864) started working the land in this region, creating a lasting link between the Jaboulet name and the Rhone over the generations. This famous Rhone winery was bought by the Frey family in 2006. The Freys, owners of Chateau la Lagune in Bordeaux, saw the potential of the vineyards. They have brought renewed energy to this corner of France. 

50% Grenache Blanc, 20% Marsanne, 20% Viognier, 10% Bourboulenc. This wine is vinified in stainless steel tanks before being aged for 2 to 3 months, 50% of which occurs in oak casks.

This wine is bright pale yellow in colour. It has fresh pear and stone fruit on the nose, with fine citrus acidity on the palate to balance the ample fruit intensity. It has a long yet appealing sherbet and pear finish. Like the better class of white Cotes du Rhones in which it belongs, it combines refreshing acidity (primarily from the Bourboulenc component) with a fuller body/mouthfeel (especially from the Marsanne and Viognier).

NB: fans of Jaboulet's Parallele 45 white may like to note that this is exactly the same wine under a different (off-trade) label: the same is true of the Parallele 45/Secret de Famille red CdR.

£11.80

Paul Jaboulet Aine Crozes Hermitage Blanc Domaine Mule Blanche 2017 (1x75cl)

Since the early 19th Century, Paul Jaboulet Ainé has been synonymous with quality wine in the Rhône Valley. Jaboulet’s Hermitages - white and red - and most of their upper wines - are the stuff of legend. The famous Rhone winery was bought by the Frey family in 2006. The Freys, owners of Chateau la Lagune in Bordeaux, saw the potential of the vineyards. They brought renewed energy to this corner of France and to one of its greatest names.

The name Mule Blanche comes from the days before mechanisation, when mules were used in the Jaboulet vineyards, as they were  hardier than draughthorses.

The Mule Blanche estate is located on a glacio-fluvial plain with clay-chalk soil; vines here have an average age of some 50 years.

50% Marsanne, 50% Roussanne (as distinct from Jaboulet’s 100% Marsanne Les Jalets white Crozes). 

Hand-picked grapes are whole-bunch pressed, following which the must settles for 2 days before being racked. The wine is then oak fermented and aged for 9-10 months. 55% of the blend is aged in French oak - of which 15% is new - while 25% is aged in small concrete eggs and the remaining 20% in stainless steel tanks. Traditional ageing provides freshness in the mouth with a range of complex aromas. Malolactic fermentation is blocked and there is no battonage.

The Mule Blanche has an aromatic nose of white flowers, hawthorn and acacia, with a delicate woody final note. It is supple and well-rounded with an harmonious fresh finish.

£27.00

Paul Jaboulet Aine Crozes Hermitage Blanc Les Jalets 2017 (1x75cl)

Since the early 19th Century, Paul Jaboulet Ainé has been synonymous with quality wine in the Rhône Valley. Jaboulet’s Hermitages - white and red - and most of their upper wines - are the stuff of legend. The famous Rhone winery was bought by the Frey family in 2006. The Freys, owners of Chateau la Lagune in Bordeaux, saw the potential of the vineyards. They brought renewed energy to this corner of France and to one of its greatest names.

One of two white Crozes Hermitages produced by Jaboulet, Les Jalets takes its name from the old French, meaning (big) pebbles. The vienyard is located on the steep terraces of Les Chassis.These round pebbles were generated by the alpine glaciers and transported up to the terraces of Crozes Hermitage by powerful rivers, approximately 30,000 years ago. The soil of alluvium and these pebbles is typical of the Crozes Hermitage appellation. These soils are deep and superbly suited to excellent vineyards for the creation of powerfull, round wines.

Vine age at Les Jalets (for the whites) is some 30 years. Contains 20% domaine fruit, including from both Mule Blanche And Raymond Roure plots. Grapes are harvested by hand into 15kg crates, then pressed directly so as to minimise the danger of oxidation. The wines is vinified in older oak casks for some 30% of the blend, ie the alcoholic fermentation is carried out in barrels with stirring/bâtonnage performed to enable the (fine) lees to remain in suspension, adding depth and compexity to the wine.

100% Marsanne. A most elegant wine, this white Crozes Hermitage has the classic aromas and flavours of Marsanne: highly floral with flavours of citrus fruit and peach. Fresh and light, with a roasted almond finish.

£20.15
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