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Invitation to AMA: Rhône with buyer Marcel Orford-Williams on 30th January 1pm



Completely agree! It’s great to get Marcel’s input of course, but if any of you want to start topics where you discuss these questions among yourselves then be my guest! :smiley: There’s certainly plenty of Rhone fans on here…


I’m also interested to learn more about Marcel’s views on languedoc wines and how they compare with Rhône. We talk a lot on here about Rhône, much less about languedoc. Are we missing something? Which Languedoc wines represent the best QPR in the upcoming EP campaign?

Rhône AMA with buyer Marcel Orford-Williams!

Starting to read a bit about the 2017 vintage and various weather challenges. What are your top tips for areas to buy this year?

Rhône AMA with buyer Marcel Orford-Williams!

Further to Tom’s question, which producers.

I’ve noticed several good producers becoming great and prices rising to match their critics scores. I won’t name those I’m thinking of for fear of exacerbating the situation. Which under the radar producers should we be watching, and buying before they get put on that band wagon?

Rhône AMA with buyer Marcel Orford-Williams!
Rhône AMA with buyer Marcel Orford-Williams!

Much as we already have loooads of excellent questions, as this event is now just two weeks away I thought it was only fair to bump this topic for some of our recent new members who might be interested in asking a question! :smiley:


How are the whites in the 2017 vintage? If you could only take a bottle of white each from North and South from the EP line up, which wines would you choose and why?

Rhône AMA with buyer Marcel Orford-Williams!

If you were to start a collection of South Rhone wines on the basis you like the wine, would you start with the 2016 or the 2017 vintage?

Rhône AMA with buyer Marcel Orford-Williams!

I’d like to hear Marcel’s view on recent vintages of Trevallon and Gassac. Quality, prices and any noticeable changes. Also, why the society doesn’t offers other southern gems such as Peyre Rose / Clos de Cistes and grange des Peres anymore.

Rhône AMA with buyer Marcel Orford-Williams!

A wonderful surprise for me last year was that stellar Rhone wines don’t have to cost a fortune.

The 2012 Clos Romane Cairanne is possibly the best sub £11 I’ve ever tasted - magnificent. How does the 2017 Clos Romane compare to the 2012?

And, amongst the other lower priced wines in the 2017 Rhone offer, which would be your top picks?

Rhône AMA with buyer Marcel Orford-Williams!

Is there any chance that in the future we might see a mixed case of whites in the Rhône EP that goes beyond Viognier? I would really welcome that, but can see there might be issues with demand, quantities etc.

Also on Rhône whites, everything I read about 2017 seems to point to a low acidity vintage. Do you have any advice on where to look for wines that have some freshness?

Rhône AMA with buyer Marcel Orford-Williams!

Agreed. Something I would have bought.


Not to jump the gun on Marcel’s reply, but this has definitely been offered in the past - it’s what got me into Mule Blanche! Perhaps there wasn’t enough take up.


I was also hoping for a mixed white case and would have bought


Do you need consent from the winery to put their wine in an EP mixed case?

Rhône AMA with buyer Marcel Orford-Williams!

Do you have limited wriggle room in setting the initial release price of the Chave Hermitage based on the agreement with Chave? Or are you even limited from answering this question by the same agreement?

Rhône AMA with buyer Marcel Orford-Williams!

There has been a lot of speculation in this forum about the identity of The Society’s Exhibition Hermitage (a fantastic wine), whether it is in any way related to Chave’s Farconnet bottling… is this something that you could shed some light on?

Rhône AMA with buyer Marcel Orford-Williams!

Can you give some broad advice for Rhone drinking windows? I have been told that some wines like C9dP “close down” for a few years before coming back round.

Also, it has been suggested by many in this Community that TWS drinking windows are conservative (i.e. short). Would you say that’s the case in general?

Rhône AMA with buyer Marcel Orford-Williams!

Summer 2018 was a long and hot summer over much of Europe; do you have a sense yet what the impact was in the Rhone? How is the 2018 vintage shaping up when compared, for example, with other recent vintages? What are the likely highlights - North vs South, Reds vs. Whites?

Thank you.

Rhône AMA with buyer Marcel Orford-Williams!

Can I ask why I rarely see any Whites available in halves at EP? Several Reds in halves on the Rhone EP list, but no whites.

Rhône AMA with buyer Marcel Orford-Williams!

I have some questions on the whites (have more experience with red Rhone):

  • how would you decide between Condrieu and other N Rhone white (mostly Marsanne/Roussanne I believe)?

  • why are the drinking windows for Condrieu so short compared to the other whites?

  • how would you characterise the difference between N and S Rhone whites made with a core of Marsanne/Roussanne? I’m tempted by the white CNDP descriptions, but have never tried any.

  • I’ve only had one St-Peray (Mark Haisma’s), which I found very fresh. Which of the St-Peray whites in the 2017 list would you recommend for a richer style? Or should I just buy Hermitage Blanc if I want that sort of wine? For reference, my wife and I recently loved a Californian Roussanne (from Stolpman Vineyards).

Thanks so much in advance!

Rhône AMA with buyer Marcel Orford-Williams!