Southern Rhone

Southern Rhone

"In a nutshell: warm, rich reds and a smattering of high-octane rosés...

Côtes du Rhône is south-east France's warmer, richer, spicier answer to the dry austerity of AC Bordeaux. The wines of the southern Rhône are France's most alcoholic, with 14-15% by no means uncommon for its most famous appellation, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (and no chaptalisation, or extra alcohol from added sugar, is allowed this far south).

While Côtes du Rhône can come from a vast area of around 56,000 ha (140,000 acres) around the southern end of the French Rhône Valley, Côtes du Rhône-Villages comes from a tightly defined area an eighth as big on particularly suitable land north and west of Châteauneuf-du-Pape... Côtes du Rhône-Villages is one of France's best-value appellations, perhaps because promotion prospects are so obvious...

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the region's most famous and best wine, and all other reds and whites made here apparently use it as their model... Red Châteauneuf is a big, beefy wine with lots of alcohol and extract, with a come-hither, if slightly bludgeoning, approach to the wine drinker. I find this one of France's most reliable appellations, and have had remarkably few disappointments among wines bottled in the signature-embossed, heavy bottle...

Gigondas is another relatively reliable wine made, as a red and full rosé, in the image of Châteauneuf from higher, rockier ground. It costs less and usually tastes rather more rustic, a characteristic which has its own charm... Vacqueyras, the other upgraded Côtes-du-Rhône-Village, is not usually quite so dense, but can be very good value...

The southern Rhône's most famous rosé by far is Tavel, made on the right bank of the Rhône and a serious, historic wine in its own right... Just north of Tavel, Lirac produces considerable quantities of rosé very similar to Tavel and full-blooded red wine, as well as some full-bodied dry white... The southern Rhône also produces some sweet, relatively alcoholic vin doux naturel, most famously Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise." - Jancis Robinson


  1. Bila Haut Occultum Lapidem Rouge 2015

    Region: France, Rhone Valley

    50% Syrah, 40% Grenache and 5% Carignan and 5% Mourvèdre 94 Points!
    Jancis Robinson 17.5/20 Points!


    $45.00 by the dozen $50.00 per bottle

    Low Stock (18 in store)

  2. Brunel Les Cailloux Chateauneuf-Du-Pape Cuvee Centenaire 1998***

    Region: France, Rhone Valley

    Robert Parker 100 Points!


    Low Stock (1 in store)

  3. Chateau Mont-Redon Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2015

    Region: France, Rhone Valley

    Vinous Media 92-94 Points!

    $67.50 by the dozen $75.00 per bottle

    Low Stock (8 in store)

  4. Chateau Mont-Redon Reserve Cotes du Rhone 2016

    Region: France, Rhone Valley
    $20.25 by the dozen $22.50 per bottle

    Low Stock (12 in store)

  5. Domaine de Mourchon Cotes du Rhone 2014

    Region: France, Rhone Valley

    65 % Grenache, 25 % Syrah, 10% Carignan

    Made from 40 year old vines.

    $34.20 by the dozen $38.00 per bottle

    Low Stock (3 in store)

  6. Ourea Gigondas 2014

    Region: France, Rhone Valley

    80% Grenache, 10% Syrah and 10% Cinsault!

    $53.10 by the dozen $59.00 per bottle

    Low Stock (4 in store)