Rhone (Rhône)

The Many Faces of Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Our first visit to Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the summer home of the popes in the fourteenth century, was on a gray December day. We had just driven up from Nice for a visit to the vineyard areas of the southern Rhone Valley. We were hungry and decided to have lunch in Chateauneuf because of its location just off the Autoroute. We planned to have lunch at La Mule des Papes in the middle of the village, but the menu looked too pedestrian so we looked around. We found a tiny place, La Garbure, just up the hill from the village square.

Aging Wine Part III: Case Closed

Any regular readers of this column know that my wife, Emily, is pregnant with our first child. Upon hearing this news in June, I promptly began preparing to lay down a case of wine to enjoy with my unborn son 25 years down the road. Two months ago, I wrote about the process of aging wine – how to select it, where to store it, when to drink it, and so forth. Last month I delved into the all-important question of which wines are worth aging by cataloguing five of the wine categories that made their way into the mixed case I put together. This column finishes that project by reporting on the four remaining categories of wine I’ve chosen for my son’s case. In so doing, hopefully I’ll lend some help to others who are searching for wines to put away for a special occasion.

Finding Quality Rhone Wines: Read the Back Label!

The Rhone Report: About Rhone and Rhone-Style Wines and Winemakers is part of an ongoing series.

There a lot more Rhone wine producers than most American wine consumers can get the time or opportunity to know. That creates a challenge when considering whether to purchase an unfamiliar Rhone wine. Anyone can learn to recognize some of the most famous (and often expensive) Rhone bottlings.

Lesser Known Rhone Grape Varietal Are Gaining Deserved Recognition in California

The Rhone Report: About Rhone and Rhone-Style Wines and Winemakers is part of an ongoing series.

Of the grape varieties traditionally grown in France’s Rhone Valley, most American wine drinkers know only a few. But some of the lesser known Rhone varietals are beginning to get deserved attention from a number of California’s most interesting wineries.

Rosé Renaissance: The Growing Popularity of Rhone Style Pink Wines

The Rhone Report: About Rhone and Rhone-Style Wines and Winemakers is part of an ongoing series.

Dry rosé wine has long been appreciated in Europe, especially the south of France. Rosés from the Rhone Valley and elsewhere in Provence have been highly regarded for generations. These rosés are popular with the local cuisine (think garlic, tomato, fish, shellfish, poultry, game, dry sausages, olives, fresh vegetables, basil, etc.), especially during the summer months when a chilled glass is particularly refreshing.

Northern Rhone Red: The Original Syrah

It’s summer, which means that for three months we say goodbye to rich, heavy red wines and welcome into our repertoire zippy whites and crisp roses to sip on the porch while soaking in the sun. That’s what most of the country does, at least. But not here. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, whose summer comes in the fall and spring, whose spring comes in the winter, and whose winter comes in the summer (and whose fall never comes).

Off the Beaten Path: Wine, Food and Attractions in the Southern Rhone Valley

The Rhone Report: About Rhone and Rhone-Style Wines and Winemakers is part of an ongoing series.

With summer vacation season just around the corner, some wine-interested travelers may want to learn about wine, food and sightseeing highlights in one of our favorite corners of the world – the southern Rhone Valley of France. Specifically, in this column we are focusing on the core of the Cotes du Rhone wine area in the northern part of the department of the Vaucluse, called Haut Vaucluse.

Lessons from the Annual Rhone Rangers Tasting, 2007 Part II

The Rhone Report: About Rhone and Rhone-Style Wines and Winemakers is part of an ongoing series.

Part II: Reds

Last month we presented some lessons we learned from tasting whites and roses at the 2007 edition (March 18) of the annual Rhone Rangers tasting at Fort Mason in San Francisco. This month we discuss some lessons we learned from tasting reds.

Southern Rhone Red Vintage Chart

Southern Rhone    
2009 95 H
2008 88 D
2007 97

Northern Rhone Red Vintage Chart

Northern Rhone    
2009 93 H
2008 87 D
2007 88
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