Tue 11 Jan 2011

Sumptuous 2009 Rhônes

Sumptuous 2009 Rhônes

Sumptuous 2009 Rhônes

October is the time I head south to the Rhône Valley to taste extensively and then plan for the campaign ahead. As ever, there are at least three vintages to taste and, over a period of nearly a month, I tasted wines from almost a hundred producers.

The first thing to say is that 2009 is unquestionably a great vintage, the result of a long, hot and dry summer. The 2009 northern Rhônes are majestic, sumptuous wines, clearly on a par with any of the greatest vintages of the last 50 years. 1990 possibly offers the closest parallel though, if anything, 2009 is on an even grander scale. There are fabulous wines from all appellations, but for the money one would have to go a long way to surpass Cornas and Saint-Joseph.

The south produced wonderful wines too that are dark, generous and full bodied, but results were less even and depended on the ability of each grower to pick when fully ripe. Again there are successes in all appellations. Châteauneufs are grand indeed, but there is also much pleasure to be had in some of the lesser villages such as Lirac, Cairanne and Rasteau. 2009 is excellent throughout the south and our opening offer will also include the pick of the Languedoc-Roussillon where the vintage in Corbières, for example, was the best for a generation.

An opening offer of 2009 Rhône and Languedoc- Roussillon wines will be posted later this month. The offer will be published on our website and mailed to those that have ordered this type of wine in the last two years. If this does not include you but you would like to receive a copy, please contact Member Services on 01438 741177 or by e-mail.

Marcel Orford-Williams
Rhône & French Country buyer

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