Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Raise a Glass ; FOOD & DRINK

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Raise a Glass ; FOOD & DRINK

Article excerpt

? I'M just back from the Rhone valley where producers, merchants and media professionals congregated for Decouvertes en Vallee du Rhone.

fie four-day event brought together winemakers ~rst in the northern end of the valley in Ampuis and then in Avignon in the A south.

It was remarkable to experience just how di-erent the two areas are.

Although the Rhone is often synonymous with Cotes Du Rhone, mainly made in the south, the northern part is radically di-erent both in terms of terroir and quality.

fie north produces a very small quantity of wine in comparison to the south, and it is very much for the ~ne wine market with famous appellations such as the white wine Condrieu, Cote-Rotie, St-Joseph and Cornas.

fie steep landscapes provide limited opportunities for winemaking, but what is made can be sublime.

fie whites are dominated by Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne while the reds are almost entirely Syrah sometimes with Viognier added, as in the case of some Cotes-Rotie.

Negoicant producer Michel Chapoutier is a big presence here and his Condrieu Invitare 2013 (about Pounds 30 online) is very typical of what the appellation can achieve; rounded but elegant with a very long ~nish.

Some of the producers' wine simply took my breath away but so do the prices.

Indeed, most of these wines are not for drinking now but will bene~t from several years ageing.

fiere's no doubting the quality of Domaine George Vernay both for its stunning Condrieu, such as Les Chailles de I'Enfer 2013 (Pounds 70 Berry Bros and Rudd) with R great purity, balance and a heavenly sherbert ~nish, and his Cote-Rotie Blonde du Seigneur 2012 (about Pounds 50 BBR).

But those prices certainly put the wines out of my reach.

However, here are a-ordable alternatives from great producers such as Bernard Gripa whose St-Peray Les Pins 2013 (Pounds 19 for the 2011 at the Wine Society and Pounds 200 for a case of 12 of 2013 at Millesima) made from Marsanne and Roussane, has a typically full- on nose of pear drops but is wonderfully structured and fresh. …

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