Grenache from the Southern Rhône

Grenache from the Southern Rhône

Ancient and dynamic: Châteauneuf-du-Pape and 'sleeping giant' Ventoux

Ancient yet dynamic, the Southern Rhône is home to one of the oldest and most celebrated appellations in France – Châteauneuf-du-Pape – and the new, up-and-coming region, Ventoux. Grenache flourishes in this Mediterranean climate and dominates the red blends here.

Today, we are highlighting three wines from three legendary producers: Michel Chapoutier – the king of the Rhône, Domaine de Santa Duc – one of the region's top producers and 'the jewel of Gigondas' as per Wine Advocate, and Château Pesquié – one of Robert Parker's all-time favourite French producers and 'unquestionably one of the reference point estates' of Ventoux according to Jeb Dunnuck.

If we had to choose only three wines from the Southern Rhône, these would be our must-haves. We have also included a value option from each producer.

The wines

 

Châteauneuf-du-Pape has long been considered the origin of the region's most famous wines. The best bottlings here are heady, spicy and powerful – age-worthy and collectable. To the east at a higher altitude and cooler climate, the world is taking note of Ventoux. The vineyards on the slopes of Mt. Ventoux, known as the Rhône's sleeping giant, produce lighter, more refreshing styles of Grenache, with that hallmark spiciness and lushness of fruit intact. It is the perfect bridge between the Northern and the Southern Rhône.

Although yields were small, Josh Raynolds from Vinous writes, '2017 is unquestionably a high-quality year for the region. The wines show lots of the richness of the 2016s along with some of the structure that marks the 2015s.'

All three properties farm their vineyards organically and biodynamically. They are also looking at picking earlier, shorter maceration times and are using more neutral vessels in a drive to balance freshness with the characterful power of the Southern Rhône fruit.

Great value from the Southern Rhône – View all