News from the Rhône



I recently joined our Rhône Buyer, Simon Field MW, to taste the Rhône 2006s and fermenting examples of the freshly-harvested 2007s.

Years in the trade have taught me that it is unwise to be dogmatic about the quality of a vintage when the fermentations are still to be completed, but it was revealing to see the confidence expressed in the quality of the 2007 harvest by growers not normally renowned for over-statement.  Jean-Pierre Perin, of Château de Beaucastel, spoke about a possible equivalent of the legendary 1947, while Daniel Brunier, of Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe, marvelled at the perfect quality of fruit harvest at his estates.

The key, after a cold and damp summer, has been a fabulous September, with unbroken sunshine raising sugar levels, while over 10 consecutive days of the Mistral wind concentrated the grapes and ensured the complete absence of any rot or mildew.

Growers in the northern part of the Rhône are also highly enthusiastic, if a little more circumspect at this stage.  We shall know more in a few weeks, but in the meantime the quality of the 2006 vintage should not be overlooked.  On the contrary, it is a vintage of superb purity and finesse, and one which BBR will be delighted to offer for the first time in early 2008.