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The Rhône Rangers


I find this fascinating when top restaurants offer wine so unbelievably young. In a Michelin star place in Dublin last year they had a very nice sounding Puligny Montrachet Prem by Corovin at about £35

I suggested it might be quite young and asked the sommelier’s opinion, to which he replied “yes, way too young, have the Chablis instead”. Why offer it?!


They do have the rarer-than-hen’s-teeth Jurancon Clos Joliette. But I sense you are paying for a lot of high-profile names there.


Having eaten at the modern and thoroughly enjoyed myself, I would point out that it’s a no tipping restaurant, so if comparing it to any other NYC restaurant, you have to knock off the inevitable US 20% tip. There are some overpriced bottles on the list, but if you have the time to pick through there are some well priced gems, at least by big city standards


I was even more shocked by the $225 of the 2014 Gonon (red St Jo…meh year) !!
And you can see on the Jamet, that they price according to the ratings as well…

Reminds me that my best Rhone find was a Chave 2001 @ £160 in a Tokyo restaurant (they tend to mark up comfortably Bordeaux and Burgs in Japan, but not so much the Rhone wines…)


I was browsing the Christmas list (hardcopy!) and found this wine that might be of interest, especially at the price. Has anyone tried this or another vintage?


Not tried that particular one but have had a couple of Cairannes recently and been quite impressed.


I opened a couple of halves of the Raspail-Ay 2015 last night.
Deep red, well balanced with notes of raspberry and blackberry fruit with some minerality. It took well over 4 hours in my decanter to come to itself. There was depth and length to spare. This Gigondas screamed quality, and had the stuffing for the medium term, who needs longer? I would say, that for my palate it will not be at its best for a year or two. I shipped 3 halves and will drink the 3rd in a year, just to see how closer it is to a virtuoso performance. Not quite La Scala last night, more the Royal Opera House; you know that it will get there but just not now.
What I do know is, that from having tasted Raspail-Ay over a number of vintages is, this is very close to the top of the heap. The 1990 was spectacular right out of the gate, this was not but may well (will get there is the not too distant future) be just as impressive, with a bit of bottle age.
We are fortunate that Marcel secured some stock for us, this and the Exhibition Crozes are terrific examples of the fun that we have in front of us!


This must be the wine referred to in Marcel’s buyers report:


Reads like a recommendation to me…


That’s a good spot, thanks.


Just had first 2017 EP offer through - VT @£270/6 IB. Considering the 2016 is still listed in TWS further stocks @ £220/6 this would appear to bear out the rumours of price increases driven by smaller quantities for the 2017 vintage


Given big spends by myself in Rhone EP 2015/16 and continuing purchasing of terrific wines from the Society such a Cote Rotie, Exhibition Red Hermitage 2010/14 and of late the exceptional Crozes, my current feeling is that I will now wind my neck in. I bought some VT2016 @£220 which I thought was a bargain. J L-L 4.5*, Jeb 96-98 & Vinous 93-95. Jeb has recently scored the VT 2017 @ 93-95 with very good comments. But the 2017 VT is 23% more expensive! So another 6 bottles of VT 2016 from a great CH9dP vintage will complete my EP expenditure.
It looks like Rhone 2017 will be a very good year with smaller volumes due to drought and in 2018 the same will apply with rampant mildew a factor on the Grenache crop.
If you have got torn into 2015/16 Rhone EP, you should have a smile on your face :smiley: and be able to take a more pragmatic view of 2017. I think that there will be really good wines available but not so many, smaller quantities and inevitably higher prices. So we should all be prepared to be disappointed in our allocations. And I fear that the same will apply with the 2018 Rhone EP campaign, but in truth one cannot be certain.
Rhone 2015 and 2016 were both superb vintages, and we cannot expect the run to continue.
I have continued to buy the best of what is left or the occasional gem that Marcel releases from stock. I imagine that TWS cellars must be groaning with top wines secreted away for the next 5 years, so if you haven’t been able to keep up, the opportunity may well present itself in the not too distant.
Many Rhone observers and Domaine owners have said that 2015 was the greatest vintage for Northern Rhone since 1990. And before that…??
2016 was the same for the South.
For at least the next two vintages, normality has returned with both drought and mildew.
And who knows what else lies in front of us.
Maybe a 2015++ or similar for 2016 in 2019, who knows?
But the probability is that we will have to wait another 25 years or a generation for similar wines to be available once again.


This very early release ahead of all primeurs tastings would indicate a little bit of nervousness about what said reviews might say. I like many rhone collectors am swimming in 2016 including northern wines which may prove to be more approachable early than 2015s but still very high quality. I think many will be very particular about what they buy from 2017.


I’m a big Cairanne fan and this is good value in my opinion. I tried the 2016 in March and gave it 4/5. It rates highly on Vivino also. 3.9 from 50 ratings.


With regard to the Clos Romaine


Snapped this up a couple of years ago EP. The blurb says it all, except I’m pretty sure the proposed drinking date is 2017-23.
Case of 12 was £72 IB. La Rosine was £53/6, Vinsobres Altitude 420 £57/6 magnums.
The 2012 Cairanne Clos Romane is in stock at £10.95.


That is actually cheaper than the 2014 was… as you add £4 ish duty and VAT plus 2 extra years storage.


Sorry for harping on about emails and offers but since joining last year I have placed three orders all Rhone wines plus my first ever en primeur purchase in 2016.

Didn’t get 2017 offer though :rage:


Apologies, should have been clearer - this was an offer from another merchant. I don’t think TWS Rhone EP offer comes around until early next year


We shall see


Don’t worry about venting, we’ve all done it and as @Alex88 has said TWS don’t release theirs until the New Year. There will be discrepancy in who gets what emails but if you come back to the forum regularly you will find out about these EP or “special release” offers thanks to the other community members. Whom ever receives emails tend to post them for all to see so just keep checking and you shouldn’t miss anything.:smiley: