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The Rhone

The Rhone

On Sunday Evening my wife and I decided to go to a restaurant and enjoy a family favourite – steak and red wine!  After we looked at the menu, we decided to go with this bottle of Vacqueyras.  A southern rhone appellation – this has pretty much all the reputational credibility of the top four prestige cru’s (chateauneuf-du-pape, cornas, cote-rotie, and hermitage) except it isn’t, it comes from the next tier down or the other 12 cru’s.  The rhone is an exceptionally complex wine region in my opinion.  Here is why…

In the northern rhone alone we have 8 appellations

  • Cote-Rotie (reds of syrah and up to 20 viognier)
  • Condrieu – whites of Viognier only
  • Chateau-Grillet -whites of Viognier
  • Saint -Joseph – reds of Syrah and up to 10% Marsanne and Roussanne plus whites which can only be made from Marsanne or Roussanne
  • Crozes-Hermitage – reds of Syrah and up to 15% Marsanne and Roussanne with whites made from Marsanne or Rousanne
  • Hermitage – as above
  • Cornas – Reds of Syrah only
  • Saint-Peray – sparkling and still whites of only Marsanne and Rousanne

In the southern rhone, it is as complex, and appellations are as follows

  • Cote du Vivarais
  • Cotes du rhone
  • Cotes du rhone villages
  • Chateauneuf du pape
  • Grignan Les Adhemar
  • Vacqueyras
  • Rasteau
  • Cairanne
  • Gigondas
  • Vinsobres
  • Beaumes de Venise
  • Muscat de Beaumes de Venise
  • Tavel

The Southern Rhones most famous wine Chateauneuf-du-pape is a blend containing 19 varieties of grape (10 red and 9 white), other AOC regions may even contain more.  The complexity of grapes grown, blends, and appellation rules are intense to say the least.

As part of my diploma studies, I am trying to focus in on the detail of particular wine regions.

The Rhone will be my first one.  Here is my first attempt at drawing a map of the southern rhone to help me remember the appellations and geography of the region.

Rioja Alta Vertical Tasting!

Vertical tastings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wow, what an amazing afternoon doing this vertical tasting!  These wines are an amazing expression of Rioja and I hope we can visit the vineyard next year.  The insight of tasting the same wine from different vintages is extremely interesting.

World’s Leading Wines Tasting Event

Great day out yesterday.

 

Found some very interesting wines, but of particular interest was a wine from The Douro.

 

Douro is a Portuguese wine region centered on the Douro River in the Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro region. It is sometimes referred to as the Alto Douro (upper Douro), as it is located some distance upstream from Porto, sheltered by mountain ranges from coastal influence.  Apparently in recent years many of these wines have suffered from a poor reputation, but watch this space, as with many things a resergence is under way!  I found the grapes Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional to produce dark fruitful wines with a terrific finish.

 

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The Wine Society

The Wine Society

So today we have joined The Wine Society.

 

This is really exciting and marks a new chapter in my exploration in wine.  Every month I want to find one or two gems through this web-site and expand our collection of wines.  The Wine Society seems different to the other “clubs” that you can join.  Slightly less commercial and very wine grower / enthusiast orientated.  The balance of reasonably priced wines to expensive seems very good and I like the fact that you can find different things here.  There is also lots of content to help you learn and develop your wine repertoir.

 

Sante as my wife would say!

 

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