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The Rhône Rangers


I doubt if I’ll buy any of the red 2010s - my tastes have moved away from that style as I have got older - but good to see that the aren’t all 14.5%+ headbangers.


In the earlier days of purchasing Rhône wine, I became aware that the stated alcoholic content on the bottle flirted with the actuality. In a not so well made bottle one can detect high alcohol by a "hot "finish.
I buy my wine for the taste and in truth would not be unhappy if they contained lower alcohol levels.
The presence of alcohol however does contribute to the overall pleasurable experience, I laud the skill of the winemaker who is able to achieve that wonderful balance between the many components in a wine that make up a truly memorable experience. Where a Domaine is tawdry with respect to high alcohol, in my view they should be called out and avoided, I would be very surprised if they found a place within the current WS sales inventory.


I’ve no idea whether or not the stated alcohol level is accurate or not. Do you have any evidence either way?

With regard to quality it’s often forgotten that high alcohol levels are a modern phenomenon and claret, for example, was often around 12%. Speaking of which I had a lovely 12% Romanian red - Cotar Terra Rossa - at the weekend.

As to WS stock I’ve had some unbalanced Rhones in the past, from Cazaux for example.


Yes, I have tested wines with a hydrometer and a book of tables.
That was back in the late 1980’s through to the early 2000’s.
I remember 16.5% on one occasion.
These days with modern lab techniques and much stricter application of rules, then I might suggest that it would be a rare phenomenon.
I have enjoyed Cazaux wines, if memory serves I purchased the Vacqueyras and the Gigondas from the Societies 2015 opening offer.
It is possible that you have been unfortunate with an off bottle, I have consumed the Sarrasine for many years and always really enjoyed it.


A South African friend of mine told me of a wonderful 16.5% Viognier that a winemaker gave him a few bottles for free as the wine was illegal there and the winemaker didn’t have the kit to de-alcoholise the wine (Common problem with this grape in warmer climates). Generally very high alcohol is a fault, and I’m very much in the lower alcohol camp, but there are always exceptions to every rule!


I would rate the Telegraphe I had much higher than 58!

I quite liked it, but as I said it seemed to be declining. From what I have read, the whole domaine produced early-drinking wines that year.

I for one don’t really feel comfortable looking up wines on my phone while browsing in a wine shop. I probably need to be a bit more organised but I’m South Wales this week and just picked this up on the spur of the moment.


I have massively enjoyed reading this thread , thank you so much @Taffy-on-Tour and @szaki1974. All I can now say is god help my bank balance… there goes the Santa budget…:grin:… oops!


Hi Leah

You are very welcome as a new or long time convert.
Tell us what you settle on buying, it will be terrific to hear.
I have done all of my Christmas wine shopping, they normally last me until next September.
Not kidding.

My worry now is establishing a buying strategy for next January and the 2016 Rhone offer.
So I read, then read some more, pore over 3 subscription winetasting sites, sort the wood from the trees, make a judgement given my experience of having done this many times.
It was great when few of us knew who Robert Parker was, you could buy in industrial quantity gems that would last for a decade or so. Changed days.
But this is my hobby and passion, I really like the research that goes into it and the getting it right when few did because there were no tasting notes published.
The great thing is when one picks up a wine that over performs at a reasonable price.
Anybody with an Everest sized wallet can scoop up the most expensive cases, but believe me they need not be the best drinking wines, and that’s the bulls eye to aim for.
And then you get 6 or 12 or X occasions to congratulate yourself with.
But you must share it, there can be no sadder sight than an art collector alone in his security vault with his collection of Old Masters.
Enjoying a great purchase with friends is brilliant, maybe they don’t get as much out of it as you do but occasionally one might turn a head, and that “lightbulb” moment is (MasterCard) Priceless!! LoL


My thanks for this thread, too. I bought some of the 2010 Hermitage and a bottle of the Cornas and Vinsobres - and can’t wait to try them. Probably wouldn’t have picked up in time that they were on the site so really appreciate the tips @Taffy-on-Tour and @szaki1974. I see that the Hermitage has a long drinking window - and also, if I recall right from past reading of this thread, that you haven’t started drinking the 2005 yet @Taffy-on-Tour. When do you think the 2010 will be at its best?

Excited about the 2016 rhone enprimeur - and will look forward to learning about what everyone is choosing!


Ive still not purchased all the Christmas wine and like you buy from a few different channels. However currently my basket is looking fairly full (& expensive :confounded:). The challenge is to restrict myself somewhat and my budget as there are other fine regions that I need to stock up on also. Like shopping when youre hungry, resist the urge to buy everything…!!
Currently Ive added the Cairanne CdR Village as I like the spicy nature of a cairanne and with the added oak I think Ill enjoy it. TWS Hermitage, cant say no to a wine at that price crafted by J-L Chave, The Vinsobres altitude, Saint Gervais Les Rouvieres CdR village,for the mourvedre content, Paul Joboulet Gigondas and the Cote-Rotie, Domaine Ogier. I have some Vacqueras still to be drunk here so it don’t make the cut , Ive also added in the Grignan-Les-Adhmer Delas. At that price couldn’t leave it out…
A Tavel and a Saint-Peray have rounded it up nicely…

I have every intention to share with the ‘right people’, ie :the OH , uncle in law potentially and my Dad who has a decent palate and will really enjoy some of these. My Dad having been told to go ahead and open a bottle of wine to decant many years ago, did just that. I came home from work to find him sipping on a 2000 St. Julien Leoville- Barton… Cheers Dad. He left me a little…! Hes not daft :relaxed:
Looking forward to trying these Rhones , Ill let you know what I think of them! Thanks again @Taffy-on-Tour


It’s great to be able to share ones experiences, when I started to learn about wine it was long conversations with people in wine companies that gave me a wider picture. My phone bill was a wonder to behold!!
The worst situation that one can have a wine lover, is the single bottle syndrome.
Better than the “zero” bottle but one is faced with a judgement as to quite when one pulls the cork.
I bought one not inexpensive bottle of a Saint Joseph “le Paradis” 1983 bottling from I think Coursodon.
It may have been another grower, but that’s my best 2017 shot.
I phaphed and deliberated and cogitated but eventually pulled the cork in 1989. It was stunning and quite memorable.
With a single bottle, I would leave it longer than one might if one had more bottles.
CellarTracker is a good site to get acquainted with as one can see a myriad of tasting notes.
Like the Olympic Ice Skating Judges scores, I discount the best and the worst tasting notes and see if I can detect some unanimity in the middle ground.
So for the 2010 I will wait until Christmas 2018, for the 07 & 05 I will have a crack at them this Christmas.
One thing I should say is that you should be sure that you are tasting well at the time that you open a very good bottle. Sounds daft but I can assure you it is not!!
A couple of years ago, I opened some what I knew to be very good bottles, they tasted flat but not faulty to me. Turned out that I had some very minor infection that affected my tasting ability. It is just a small thing, but better to be aware of than not. I did not open another half decent bottle for 3 weeks, by then I was ok.


I have one bottle left from a case of 1990 Beaucastel and I can’t bring myself to drink it. It’s been my favourite wine ever!


In all honesty, drink or sell it. Little point doing anything else as it won’t improve.
As a historical bottle, it may become more valuable, but as a testament to the pleasure it gave to you, consumption should mark a fitting end.
You might consider the purchase of the Beaucastel 2016 which has had some good reports, my favourite Coudoulet was the 1990 which was gorgeous to drink at a third of the price of its bigger bruvver!! LoL😉
I still have some cases of Beaucastel and Pegau 1995 which deserve my attention.
I did have, believe it or not six 12 bottle cases of the 1989 and a few of the 1990.
On their day, it was difficult to choose between them but so, so much fun trying.


Totally agree! When I sat my WSET3 I had a stinking cold and was dreading the blind tasting, worked out alright In the end, but I literally didnt drink any wine for around a month until all my senses were back. Couldn’t taste Anything, let alone smell…
I also use cellar tracker which I find really good, Ive not uploaded my cellar as such but find it a great resource. I use Vivino somewhat but find its a bit like trip advisor if you know what I mean :thumbsup:


I think Vivino is for people shopping for wine in a supermarket (I do not mean it in a bad way). It is also worth noting that Cellartracker uses the Vivino engine to identify wines from labels or barcode.


Have TWS has the 2016 offer yet?
Yes I will be drinking it! I had a mixed case of 1993 burgundies from TWS. There was one bottle left and I did that stupid thing of looking it up. That one bottle was worth around £800 (Dujac). My son who was born in 1993 and I drank it last Christmas.


@szaki1974 Yes I find this really useful


The 2016 Rhône opening offer will probably be in late January 2018.
We, if this time is like the 2015 offer will have until the end of February to place your order, and then “worry” as to what one has been allocated.
It is never too early to think about what you need and what you want, they are never the same thing.
For example, I didn’t get an Hermitage that I coveted last time, it was disappointing.
This time I will do the substitutes which I haven’t before.:crossed_fingers:
But in the end I was more than happy, so absolutely no complaints.:+1:
For me, the annual Rhône offer, is like a child being let loose in their favourite sweetie shop and so exciting!!



Going to have a crack at a bottle of the Guigal CdR Rouge 2012 tonight.
It has taken it’s time to become fully accessible, the 2011 only did with the last bottle that I had.
That is irritating in the extreme.
The Guigal CdR is the one wine that I have consumed over the years which never disappoints.
This is my house wine, if I have one.
I note that the Society is onto the 2013 vintage.


Thoughts on another 2011 CNdP, linked from another thread. (If the cross posting works…)