Rhône 2018: where to start
Author: Fiona Hayes
2018 Condrieu, Côte Bonnette, Domaine Mouton: This includes a high percentage of fruit from granite soils, which is particularly useful in 2018 – giving the wine precision and balancing the warm vintage’s ripe, spicy notes. Only half the wine is aged in oak, adding notes of subtle toast and spice, but allowing the terroir to shine through.
2018 Côte-Rôtie, Ampodium, Domaine René Rostaing: From one of the Northern Rhône’s most famous addresses, this wine sets the benchmark in Côte-Rôtie. The fruit comes from all the Rostaing family’s holdings, and the juiciness of the 2018 vintage gives an additional richness to the wine, as well as making it accessible in its youth.
2018 Cornas, Domaine Pierre Gaillard: The Cornas appellation really shone through in 2018. We decided to buy some Cornas from Gaillard this year, as there was great freshness and concentration to the wine, highlighting the innate quality of their small plot here and its old vines.
Côtes du Rhône
2018 Côtes du Rhône, Visan, Garrigues, Domaine Dieu-le-Fit: Rémi Pouizin has amazing attention to detail, working organically and with lesser-known, high-quality vineyards. While he’s the mastermind behind our own-label Côtes du Rhône, Garrigues is one of Rémi’s most highly regarded sites and, this year in particular, the wine has exceptional concentration, with layer upon layer of complexity.
2018 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Château la Nerthe: La Nerthe seemed to be less impacted by coulure and mildew than some of their neighbours, despite Grenache’s natural susceptibility. As a result, Grenache takes centre stage in the blend, which is wonderful: approachable now, it is both perfumed and concentrated with impressive tension.