The Rhône Valley is often known for their infamous reds like Hermitage or Chateauneuf du Pape. In fact, red wine makes up approximately 80% of all wine produced in the Rhône Valley. Since the region's whites and rosés are often overlooked, we're able to find plenty of great value. Lately, however, these styles are being increasingly produced by Rhône Valley vintners and in-turn, the popular his risen on a local, domestic, and international level.
Last week, at Teuwen's "Rhône Work of Art" event, I tasted several whites and rosés from the Northern and Southern Rhône. The tasting was guided by Master Sommelier, Laura Maniec Fiorvanti, who claims the Rhône Valley as her favorite wine region. After working under Laura for over two years at Corkbuzz, I absolutely believe it. She mentioned the commonalities and differences between surrounding regions' whites and rosés. For example, rosé from Rhône tends to have more weight than the traditional style in Provence. Also, Viognier is very much Rhône's white and likely on its own in the north, rather than blended with other grapes in the Southern sub-regions. Read on for my favorites from the tasting.
- 2015 Cave de Tain Hermitage Blanc - A very tropical fruit-driven wine, with hints of pineapple, melon and guava. The elevated acidity and distinct minerality made this wine so memorable. At around $75, this might be more of a special occasion wine, rather than summer sipper.
- 2016 Jean-Luc Colombo Saint Peray - This Roussane-Marsanne blend has orange blossom and ripe peaches on the nose. A delightfully long finish, especially at $40.
- 2015 Domaine Bernardins Muscat Beaumes de Venise - The desert wine that will change your mind! Laura urged me to try this, knowing I've never had a sweet tooth. I'm SO glad I took her advice. This naturally sweet wine, or Vin doux Naturel has notes of caramel, candied pear, butterscotch, and preserved lemon. It's perfectly balanced with 15% alcohol. Around $40 retail.
- 2016 Vins de Vienne Villard Gaillard Condrieu la Chambee - One of singular Viogniers I was talking about, from the renowned Condrieu region. Notes of peaches and cream, lavender sprigs, nectarine and granite. Around $60 retail.
- 2017 Domaine Grand Bois Les 3 Soeurs - The most complex $12 bottle you may ever taste. This rosé is a blend of 65% Grenache, 25% Carignan, and 10% Cinsault. Notes of ripe Mcintosh apples, dried oregano, and salted quince arise on the palate. At this price, I could drink it all summer long.
- 2017 Prieure de Montezargues Tavel Rosé - This dark pink wine has raspberries and wet stones on the nose, with a ridiculously long and weighty finish. Around $22 retail and well worth it.
- 2017 Chateau d'Aqueria Tavel - A very full and luscious rosé with blueberries and fresh plums on the palate and dried herbs on the nose. This definitely craves food, with light tannin on the gums. I'd pair it with fish tacos or cod chowder. Just $20 retail!