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V 91-93, WA 90

Strawberries, raspberries, flowers and mint all emerge from the medium-bodied 2014 Gigondas les Souteyrades, and this beautiful, forward 2014 has no hard edges, tons of charm, fine tannin and a good finish. It plays in the style of the vintage and is an early drinker, but it has loads to love.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
WE 92

Favorable exchange rates have lowered the price of this gem to nearly everyday status, making it a terrific value. Ripe melon and red berry flavors are supported by a firm bed of crushed stone, then garnished by subtle spice notes. Typical of Tavel, it's on the full-bodied side for a rosé, but doesn't seem heavy at all. Drink now–2018.

- Joe Czerwinski, Wine Enthusiast (Sept, 2017)
WS 89

Solidly built, with a frame of chestnut and tobacco leaf notes around a core of lightly dried cherry and plum fruit flavors, giving way to sandalwood and garrigue accents through the finish. Best from 2017 through 2022.

- James Moleworth, Wine Spectator (2016)
WE 92

This wine manages to capture the essence of the southern Rhône in its fine scents of garrigue and sun-baked cherries. Despite a certain warmth, it remains fresh, supple and detailed, offering intricate nuances of licorice, sage and thyme on the long finish.

- Joe Czerwinski, Wine Enthusiast (Dec, 2013)
WA 90

I always love the whites from this estate, and the 2013 Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc doesn’t disappoint. Medium-bodied, pure, layered and fruit-forward, it dishes up fabulous white peach, tangerine and hints of flowers on the nose. I don’t think it will make old bones, so plan on drinking this over the coming couple of years.

Covering over 80 acres of prime real estate, all of which is in the la Solitude lieu-dit, Domaine de la Solitude is one of the oldest estates in Châteauneuf du Pape. Today it’s run by the Lancon family, who are the direct descendants of the Barberini family who came from Italy and created the estate in 1450. They produce up to four reds and two white Châteauneuf du Papes in any vintage. While they’re most widely known for the Châteauneuf du Papes, don’t miss their Côtes du Rhône, both the red and white are fabulous drinkers and represent value.


- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2014)
WA 95

About as polished and elegant as they come from the appellation, Michel’s 2012 Cornas offers rocking crème de cassis, raspberry, spice, toasted bread and licorice to go with an elegant, medium to full-bodied profile. Possessing no hard edges and slightly hidden, sweet tannin, this is an awesome wine that will have 15+ years of sexy drinking.

Johann Michel continues to produce brilliant wines from the steep, granite infused slopes of Cornas. Both his 2012s, which I raved about last year, and his 2013s are some of the most successful in appellation.


- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2014)
WS 91, IWC 91

A ripe, fleshy style, with plum sauce, blackberry paste and raspberry ganache notes that stay driven and fresh, thanks to a racy graphite spine and a lingering black licorice accent. Very solid. Drink now through 2021.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (July, 2014)
IWC 93, WA 91, WS 91

Looking at the reds and perfumed and beautifully Provencal, the 2011 Chateauneuf-du-Pape has rocking aromatics of kirsch liqueur, lavender, garrigue, licorice and saddle leather to go with a medium-bodied, supple and nicely textured profile. I-d like to see more mid-palate here, but this is all about up-front fruit. Filling in nicely with air (tasted twice from multiple bottles), it should be enjoyed over the coming 7-8 years. Drink now-2021.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Oct 2013)
WS 93, WA 92

A terrific white that delivers on all accounts, Brunel’s 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc is a Roussanne-dominated blend that includes 20% Grenache Blanc. It comes all from the southern part of the appellation, in the lieu-dit of Les Serres. Aged in concrete tanks, it has a ripe, rounded, beautifully textured style to go with lots of ripe peach and tropical fruit aromas and flavors. I love its texture and it has first rate purity, as well. This is a classic Châteauneuf du Pape white that will shine on the dinner table over the coming 2-4 years.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2016)
WE 91

If it’s possible for a Châteauneuf-du-Pape to have Burgundian style, this would be a candidate. The cherries are delicate and herbal, with crisp acids and silky tannins that provide a wiry, peppery framework for the elegant fruit. Drink now–2020.

- Joe Czerwinski, Wine Enthusiast (Feb, 2015)
WS 93, WA 93, IWC 92

Autard’s quasi-modern-styled offering is the dense plum/purple-colored 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee La Cote Ronde, a blend of equal parts Grenache and Syrah from relatively old vines (60 plus years) that sees some new oak barrels. However, the 2009 shows only subtle evidence of vanillin and toast. It is a seductive, full-bodied, opulent effort displaying notes of caramelized red and black fruits, herbs, licorice and a hint of ink. This full-bodied, rich 2009 is ideal for drinking over the next 12+ years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2011)
WS 93, IWC 91

This is rock-solid, with crushed raspberry, kirsch, juniper and smoked apple wood notes, backed by a broad, plush, spice- and anise-filled finish. Nicely rounded and integrated for the vintage. Drink now through 2021.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (Oct, 2010)
WA 94

Showing similar to last year, the 2012 Hermitage Blanc (which doesn’t include the grapes that went into the Ex Voto) is a fabulous white that gives up classical notes of acacia flowers, buttered citrus, wood smoke and crushed rock. Medium to full-bodied, rich, textured and layered, it will have another decade of thrilling drinking.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2015)
WA 91, IWC 91

The 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Barberini is virtually two-thirds tank-aged Grenache with the balance Syrah and a little (about 10%) Mourvedre, the latter aged in small oak barrels. It exhibits a dense ruby/purple color and a more modern style than the traditional cuvee or the 100% Grenache cuvee Cornelia Constanza reviewed below. Despite its so-called -modern leanings,- which some people deplore, this is a beauty. Dense purple, with elegant blueberry and blackberry fruit as well as hints of garrigue, vanillin and spice box, it is dense, full-bodied, yet wonderfully precise and fresh, given the vintage's liveliness and vibrancy. In light of some noticeable tannins, give it 2-3 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 15-20+ years.

One of the most significant estates in Chateauneuf du Pape and one of the earliest to estate-bottle, the Lancon family has been producing these wines for many, many decades. They have 75 acres, with most of it situated in the widely renowned rocky plateau in the eastern part of the sector know as La Crau, the hottest, earliest-maturing sector of the appellation. The Lancons don't believe in showing barrel or tank samples, so everything I tasted was already in bottle, and no 2011 reds were tasted. The 2010 vintage is another strong one for them, keeping their track record of hitting home runs for much of the last decade intact.


- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2012)
WS 94

A firm, taut, minerally style, with lots of iron-edged grip striding from start to finish, while red currant and damson plum fruit push out from the core. White pepper and singed juniper details fill in the background. This will need some time to stretch out fully. Best from 2019 through 2030.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (Sept, 2016)
WS 92, WA 91-93

The 2012 Cote Rotie Brune et Blonde has a complex, pure, medium to full-bodied feel in its cassis, black raspberry, olive and spice-laced bouquet. Possessing sweet tannin, plenty of fruit and a great finish, it has plenty of similarities to the 2011 and is joy to drink. Enjoy this pleasure-bent effort over the coming decade.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2015)
WA 93

Moving to the 2014 whites, these all show the more elegant, streamlined style of the vintage, yet also pack plenty of fruit and texture. Fresh, lively, juicy and incredibly pure, with fabulous notes of tangerines, white flowers and orange blossom, the 2014 Condrieu La Galopine is medium-bodied, perfectly balanced and focused on the palate. This is about as classic as they come and strikes a perfect balance between freshness and richness.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
WA 90-92

Since there might not be an Ex Voto release in the vintage, the 2012 Hermitage should get all of the top parcels/grapes that would normally go into that cuvée. Still aging in equal parts new and once used barrels (it will see a full 38 months in barrel), it has lots of graphite, chocolate and floral notes to go with a solid core of ripe Syrah fruit. Medium plus-bodied, forward, nicely textured, with ripe tannin and integrated acidity, it should be drinkable on release and evolve gracefully for over a decade. Like a lot of this estate’s wines, it continues to show better every year I taste it.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2015)
V 92-94

Youthful violet. Vibrant, spice- and mineral-laced black and blue fruit scents show excellent focus and pick up suggestions of cola and violet with air. Sappy, concentrated and pure, offering juicy blueberry and boysenberry flavors firmed by a spine of tangy acidity. Blends power and vivacity with a deft hand and finishes very long and minerally, with supple tannins building steadily and in harmony with the wine's fruit. All of the fruit from Rostaing's Côte Blonde and La Landonne holdings are in this bottling this vintage.

- Josh Raynolds, Vinous
WS 92

Silky in feel and very long, with lovely raspberry and boysenberry coulis flavors that glide through, flecked with anise, rooibos tea and well-roasted sandalwood notes. The long finish lets everything drape gracefully. Very suave. Drink now through 2027.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (Web, 2016)
WA 95

Much more southern Rhone-like in style, the 2009 Abelard is a blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah that spent 18 months in barrel. Big, ripe, layered and hedonistic, with tons of sweet Grenache blackberry and black cherry fruits, melted licorice and roasted herb aromas and flavors, this sensational Grenache has full-bodied richness, polished, sweet tannin, no hard edges and a great finish. While 2009 delivers lots of perfumed, upfront and slightly rustic wines due to the heat, this is silky, polished and incredibly pure. Drink this killer 2009 over the coming 7-8 y

- Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (March, 2016)
WA 95-96, WS 95

A wine that will be in bottle by the time you read this, the 2012 Cote Rotie Chateau d’Ampuis (it always incorporates 7% Viognier) will check in behind the sensational 2009 and 2010, but should be on par with the 2005 and 2003. Cassis, licorice, smoked meats, graphite and peppery spice all emerge from this beautifully concentrated, full-bodied, seamless Cote Rotie that has building, ripe tannin, terrific purity and a blockbuster finish. It will have 20-25 years of longevity.


- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2015)
WA 93, WE 93

The 2013 Châteauneuf du Pape is a beauty and has a rare level of concentration and depth in the vintage. Blueberry, crushed flowers, pepper, and violet aromas and flavors flow nicely to a medium to full-bodied, structured and tannic Beaucastel that has impressive purity and plenty of length. It’s not massive, but still needs 4-5 years of cellaring and will keep for a decade after that.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2015)
WA 95, WS 93

As one might expect, the 2010 Clos de Beauvenir blanc is luxurious, with super-intense fruit, a full-bodied, multi-dimensional mouthfeel with hints of dried apricot, honeysuckle, peach jam, rose water and a touch of almond paste all present in this lavishly rich, expansive and full-throttle dry white. Drink it over the next 10+ years, as it is nearly impossible to predict how these white Rhones age.

Readers should realize that neither the luxury cuvee, the white Chateauneuf du Pape, La Nerthe Clos de Beauvenir, not the sensational top red cuvee called Cuvee des Cadettes were produced in 2011. The seriousness of La Nerthe is evidenced by the introduction of a second wine in order to preserve the integrity and exquisite quality of their top cuvees. Their new red, the Chateauneuf du Pape Les Granieres, is primarily a blend of nearly 50% Grenache and almost equal portions of Mourvedre and Syrah, with a touch of Cinsault, aged largely in old wood foudres, but with some of the Syrah and Mourvedre components in small barrels.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2012)
WA 94, WS 93, V 93-95

On another level, the 2014 Côte Rôtie La Mordorée is a perfumed, incredibly layered and even sexy 2014 that has lots of black raspberry fruits, flowers, potpourri, and spice aromas and flavors. It’s a deeper, richer wine than the Les Bécasses, has solid mid-palate depth and sweet tannin. It will drink well for at least a decade.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
WA 94+

Closed, tight and backwards, the 2013 Hermitage les Bessards is a big, full-bodied, burly wine that offers first rate purity in its black raspberry, ozone, liquid rock, and creosote-like bouquet. It has plenty of material and density, but will need 7-8 years of bottle age to become approachable. As normal, it comes all from the “Bas de Coteau” portion of the Bessards lieu-dit, was completely destemmed and saw 18 months in 30% new French oak.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2015)
WA 94

Both of the Côte Rôtie releases are excellent wines. One of the most structured wines in the vintage, the 2014 Côte Rôtie La Landonne (100% Syrah aged in 40% new barrels) gives up terrific notes of black raspberry, cassis, toasted spice, graphite and crushed rocks. Possessing full-bodied richness and a concentrated and beautifully-textured style, with building tannin, it should be given 3-4 years of cellaring and enjoyed over the following 10-15 years.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
WA 97, WS 95, V 93-95

Similar in style to the hedonistically-styled Cuvee de l’Orée (especially when compared to the structured, mineral-laced l’Ermite), the 2014 Ermitage le Méal Blanc (aged in 10% new demi-muids) offers layers of celery seed, brioche, caramelized pineapple and citrus oil on the nose. Thick, rich, voluptuous and full bodied with a massive finish, drink this sensational white anytime over the coming two to three decades.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2015)
WA 96, WS 96

While I loved Michel's 2012 Cote Rotie la Mordoree from barrel, it blew me away from bottle, and I think bares more than a passing resemblance to his 1991. About as elegant and seamless as they come, it exhibits incredible notes of violets, peppery spice, spring flowers, rose petal and darker berry fruit. This is followed by a full-bodied, sweetly fruited, expansive Cote Rotie that's perfectly balanced, has beautiful mid-palate density, and ultra-fine tannin that emerge on the finish. It's a blockbuster effort to drink over the coming two decades.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2014)
WA 96, WS 95, V 94-96

The 2014 Ermitage le Pavillon is another wine from this team that defies the vintage. Full-bodied, concentrated, impeccably balanced and seamless, with classic notes of crushed rocks, graphite, cassis and blackcurrants, it hits the palate with no hard edges, has a great mid-palate and possesses sweet tannin. Michel commented that this wine reminded him of the 1982, and while it offers pleasure even today, it won’t hit maturity for another decade.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
WA 94+, WS 93

Dense and fleshy in feel, with twinges of espresso and baker's chocolate running amid the core of dark plum, steeped currant and blackberry compote. The finish has a dark tobacco note lurking. This will need some time to settle in. Best from 2017 through 2024. 65 cases imported.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (Feb, 2016)
WA 94+, WS 93

Very solid, with a loamy edge that melds slowly into the core of steeped plum and blackberry fruit, while smoldering alder, bay leaf and dark olive notes flitter throughout. Cellar for maximum effect. Best from 2018 through 2024. 35 cases imported.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (Feb, 2016)
WA 98+, WS 96, V 96

The star of the show in 2013 is the 2013 Ermitage le Pavillon. Coming from the west and eastern edges of the Bessards lieu-dit and aged in 30% new French oak, its sensational black/blue color is followed by the awesome bouquet of cassis, smoked earth, graphite and caramelized meats that could come from no other terroir in the world. Full-bodied, massive, dense, sexy and with a liquid rock-like character that comes out with time in the glass, it has sweet tannin and a blockbuster finish that keeps you coming back to the glass. It needs 5-6 years of cellaring and will have 30-40 years of more of ultimate longevity.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2015)
IWC 96-98, WS 96, WA 95

The 2004 Châteauneuf du Pape Hommage À Jacques Perrin continues to show well, and was even more open from this bottle than from one earlier this year. While still youthful, it has beautiful complexity and depth on the palate, and certainly offers plenty of pleasure. Dark fruits, spice, cured meats, truffle and licorice all flow nicely to a full-bodied, concentrated, lively feel on the palate. It has bright acidity and fine tannin, and while it will never have the sheer decadence of a bigger year, it shines for its complexity, elegance and length.

Coming mostly from a plot of old vines located behind the estate, the Perrin Family’s Châteauneuf du Pape Hommage à Jacques Perrin was first created in 1989 and is a tribute to the late Jacques Perrin, who passed away in 1978. Aged all in foudre and normally a blend of 60% Mourvedre, 20% Grenache, 10% Counoise and the rest Syrah, it’s only produced in top vintages and there’s normally a scant 400-500 cases to go around. It’s an incredible, yet atypical Châteauneuf du Pape due to its high Mourvèdre content. While most vintages require upwards of a decade of cellaring, the more forward, sexy vintages can certainly be enjoyable in their youth as well.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2015)