From Vinous: Elegance Returns to the Northern Rhône in 2016

“Northern Rhône wine lovers with purist leanings will be head over heels with the soon-to-be-released 2016 vintage, which offers an abundance of energetic, well-balanced and generally graceful wines. As impressive as the 2015s are, I’ve encountered a not-insignificant number of collectors who view many of the wines as too much of a good thing: too ripe, too rich, too heavy, too tannic…you get the picture. Most of the producers I visit on my annual trips sympathize with that view to an extent, but are also quick to point out that 2015 is a vintage for the ages and what’s in the glass now will mostly bear little resemblance to how the wines will turn out down the road, maybe even way down the road. There are no such qualms when it comes to the 2016s, though. A number of producers call it a “dream vintage” for the wines’ collective balance, freshness and expression of terroir. Based on the performance of the wines I tasted from barrel in late March and early June, and the handful of finished wines that I was able to try when I returned home (the barrel samples in this article are scored in a range, as usual, while the finished wines in a single numerical score), 2016 is a vintage that’s a must-buy for readers who prize Syrah built along pure, graceful, dare I say feminine, lines. Even so, the wines are in no way lacking depth of flavor or structure, which leads me to think that many of the wines will hit their 20th birthday in fine form.” --Josh Raynolds, Vinous, Elegance Returns to the Northern Rhône in 2016 , June 2018 New York City is having its own celebration of Northern Rhône with Reboule du Rhône on November 15-18, 2018. For more information, click here .

Paul Jaboulet Aîné

La Chapelle Hermitage Syrah 2015

Delectable Wine
9.8

Bright purple. Explosive, smoke- and spice-accented blueberry, cherry cola, incense and smoky mineral aromas show outstanding delineation and pick up a hint of olive with aeration. Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering deeply concentrated dark berry liqueur, fruitcake and floral pastille flavors, along with a suggestion of star anise. The remarkably long, penetrating finish features strong minerally cut, an echo of sweet blue fruit and harmonious tannins that come in late and fold effortlessly into the deeply concentrated fruit. At this stage, this is a contender for the wine of the vintage, at least by estimation. (Josh Raynolds, Vinous, February 2018) — 13 days ago

Jeff, Severn and 2 others liked this

E. Guigal

Condrieu Viognier 2015

MICHAEL COOPER
9.1

This 2015 vintage #condrieu was better than others I’ve tasted from #guigal I’d recommend it highly. It has so much typicity for what I consider the grape #viognier — 25 days ago

Daniel P., Joe and 7 others liked this

Domaine Habrard (Laurent Habrard)

Crozes-Hermitage White Rhone Blend 2015

Give this lots of air. First night it was unfriendly. Night 2, however, different story. Perfumed nose of lillies, tropical fruit, funky minerals. Intense and clingy, the fruit is intense in the front half of the palate, but fades quickly leaving a low acid bitter note. It’s got a lot of character, but I’m learning that I’m just not a Marsanne guy. — 18 days ago

Lyle Fass
with Lyle
Lyle, Severn and 12 others liked this

Domaine Georges Vernay

Les Terrasses de l'Empire Condrieu Viognier 2016

Delectable Wine
9.3

Limpid yellow. Incisive aromas of fresh citrus and orchard fruits, ginger and violet are joined by hints of chalky minerals, fennel and white pepper. Juicy and sharply focused on the palate, offering fresh pear and Meyer lemon flavors that show impressive clarity and minerally drive. The citrus fruit and floral notes come back strong on the vibrant finish, which hangs on with excellent focus and tenacity. (Josh Raynolds, Vinous, February 2018) — 13 days ago

Jeff and Severn liked this

Domaine Bernard Gripa

Les Pins St. Péray Blanc Marsanne Roussanne 2015

Lyle Fass
9.3

I love Northern Rhone Whites and defending them will be the hill I die on. Outrageous nose. Spice, musk (old spice??), plantain, rich apricot, honey, wild berries, white cherries, so exotic. Great nose. Palate is round and ripe with great precision and freshness from the brilliant minerality. Complex and juicy. Very pure. Finishes mineral and very fresh. Nose makes you think it might be a gobber but palate is lean and mean. Love this. — a month ago

Tom, Arden and 3 others liked this

Paul Jaboulet Aîné

Le Chevalier de Sterimberg Blanc Hermitage Marsanne Roussanne 2004

Soft nose . Carmel color blunted and soft round and rolling on the palate apples and a bit of oxygen offset by a honey aroma. — 18 days ago

Chris AsayFrank
with Chris and Frank
Mike, Mark and 8 others liked this

Rene Rostaing

La Bonnette Condrieu Viognier 2016

Delectable Wine
9.3

(raised in stainless steel tanks and made with no malo) Limpid straw-yellow. Assertive, mineral-accented orchard fruit, melon and fennel aromas are sharpened by hints of ginger and lemon zest. Intense pear skin, Meyer lemon and violet pastille flavors show a suave blend of richness and delicacy thanks to a spine of juicy acidity. Closes minerally, taut and impressively long, leaving a powerful floral note behind. (Josh Raynolds, Vinous, February 2018) — 13 days ago

Jeff, Severn and 1 other liked this

Thierry Allemand

Chaillot Cornas Syrah 2006

Pedro Rusk
9.9

Might be the most amazing bottle I have ever had for this producer. A hand carry back for the winery and by the producers own words “ his favorite of all the vintages he has made”. The wine was pure, bright in color no oxidation. Every once in a great while you have a wine that has both power and finesse, perfume and spice, Tannin and acid with silky texture. Might be one of the greatest glasses of wine I’ve had ever and for sure in recent history. — 8 months ago

Sage, James and 6 others liked this

Eric et Joël Durand

Cornas 2001

Dark with some of the high tones VA like rang of viognier and deep pure fruit. Rather one note but judiciously made with good balance and not too hot — 18 days ago

LM, Jeroen and 4 others liked this

Domaine Auguste Clape

Le Vin des Amis Syrah 2016

Let that initial "odor" blow off and there is a dark, deep, velvety, wine underneath. It goes from barn to the ball. A Cinderella story... — 2 months ago

Shawn, Ira and 12 others liked this