Skip to main content

Notes on The Nothern Rhone

The Northern Rhone lies 20 miles south of the city of Lyon. The vineyards lie along the Rhone River which helps moderate the climate which is also affected by the cold Mistral winds. There are three white grape varieties grown: Viognier, Marsanne and Rousanne and one red variety, Syrah.
There are eight Crus in Northern Rhone starting with the Cote-Rotie AOC. It is considered the North's most elegant and approachable wine. The vineyards are located on steep granite terraces which are difficult to work which contributes to the price of the wine. They produce only red wine but can legally add up to 20% Viognier if they choose though that is unusual today.
2008 Saint Cosme Cote-Rotie    $60
Clear, deep ruby in the glass with medium intense developing aromas of bacon, pepper, black fruit and tobacco. Dry, medium+ body, tannins, alcohol, acidity and length. Very good, drink now or hold.

Next is Condrieu AOC where they make small quantities of white wine from Viognier. Chateau Grillet  AOC is a single property within Condrieu producing similar wines.

The Saint Joseph AOC primarily makes red wines but they make some white as well. It is a large appellation on the east bank of the river. Their red wine is considered the lightest and the fruitiest of the northern reds due to the higher sand mix in their granitic soil. 
2007 Nicolas Perrin Saint-Joseph      $35    

Clear, deep garnet in the glass with medium intense developing aromas of smoked meat, menthol and black fruit. Dry, medium+ acidity and medium alcohol, body and tannins, medium length. Good, drink now.
2007 Domaine Mucyn Saint-Joseph   $23
Clear, medium ruby in the glass with medium intense developing aromas of red fruit, smoke, baking spice with just a hint of savoriness. Dry, medium- body and tannins,  medium alcohol and acidity with medium+ length. Very good, drink now.


Crozes-Hermitage has been said to be a hit or miss appellation due to the terroir diversity and its size. This was a hit.
2009 La Matiniere Crozes-Hermitage Ferraton Pere & Fils   Clear ,medium purple with medium intense youthful aromas of strawberry jam, cracked black pepper and a bit of smoke. Dry, Medium body, alcohol, medium+ tannins, acidity and finish. Good+   $20

Hermitage is the next small appellation. It mainly produces red wine that can have up to 15% Marsanne and Rousanne in the blend though it is uncommon.
2003 Hermitage E.Guigal     $70
Clear, deep garnet going brickish at the rim. Medium+ intense, developing aromas of mixed baked berries with just a bit of pepper and forest floor. Dry, Medium body and alcohol, medium+ tannins, acidity and finish.
Very good/drink now.

Cornas is the last red wine cru in the north. Production is very small. It is considered the biggest, most masculine wine.
St. Peray is the final appellation. It is very small. It makes both still and sparkling white wine from Marsanne and Rousanne.

Related Post:
Notes from a Rhone Valley Tasting

Comments

  1. Sandra, time has a way of leaving the past in the past, but here you are now with arguably the beginning of a French wine primer for newbies like me; A primer with pictures and short notes taking "us" on a mile by mile, nay foot by foot hike through French wine country, Chateau, village, or AVA.
    This is a treasure, and at some point I'm going to try and print these out and paste to a national map of France.
    keep up the good work,
    Dennis

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thank you for reading Wine Life - Houston.

Popular posts from this blog

A Flavor Inspired Georgian Wine Tasting and Lunch

Last month, wine professionals in Houston were given the opportunity to taste wines from one of the country of Georgia's flagship producer, Teliani Valley, over lunch at Concura to learn about the ancestral grapes, the ancient winemaking techniques, and the modern tools which come together to make the classic wines of the Kakheti region. There are 525 grape varieties currently recorded in the country with over 135,000 acres under vine, 72.4% of those vines are located in Kakheti. The country of Georgia is located approximately 620 miles from Rome and size wise, it is just slightly smaller than the state of Connecticut. Despite its small size, it has a lot of neighbors that border it: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, and Turkey; it also touches the Black Sea. The Kakheti wine region is located in the eastern part of Georgia with two river basins, the Ivri and Alazani, which both influence the wines. The vineyards are located at elevations of 800 to 2,600 feet with views of the Caucasus

Tasting with Rob and Bonnie Lloyd of Lloyd Cellars

Rob and Bonnie Lloyd of Lloyd Cellars. Rob and Bonnie Lloyd were in Houston in November to meet with a small group of local wine media to share their story and their Lloyd Cellars wine at Savoir . The Lloyds have family in town and were here for the holidays. Their wines are currently on the shelf at Total Wines. Rob Lloyd immersed himself in wine after graduating from UC-Irvine. He moved to Napa and put his dream in motion by working harvest at Cakebread followed by a job at the Stag's Leap Wine Cellars tasting room. These experiences motivated him to go to UC- Davis to get his Masters in Enology. After graduating, he continued immersing himself in California Chardonnay with positions at La Crema and Rombauer. He would co-found JaM Cellars and be their original winemaker launching the top selling Butter Chardonnay brand. He eventually opened a consulting firm and started his own wine projects with wife, Bonnie. Bonnie Lloyd moved to San Franscico in 1996 to continue her career in

The Villa Sandi Houston Sommelier Competition Winners

This past Sunday, Taste of Italy - Houston held The Villa Sandi Houston Sommelier Competition at the Hilton Post Oak in collaboration with the Italian American Chamber of Commerce . The competition was orchestrated to help local sommeliers hone their both their service and test taking skills while showcasing their knowledge of all things wine. Competitors started with a deductive tasting and theory exam and concluded with a table service exam. The winners were announce on Monday morning at the opening of the Taste of Italy - Houston. Tony Elsinga won the top prize of $750 along with a trip to Italy. Mark Fusco was the first runner up also winning $750 and and Carlos Rosas was the second runner up earning a $500 prize. Each winner also was a gifted a jerobaum bottle of Villa Sandi Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore.  The competition was originally conceived by Jaime Deleon , the Adult Beverage Sales Manager for Kroger's Houston Division and an Advanced Sommelier in the Court of Mast