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Wines that surprise from The Rhone

It’s really nice when you find wines that surprise in a pleasant way.  When I am tasting and selecting wines from France for TheWinePlace.es more often than not a few wines from the Rhone Valley will stand out for being pleasantly surprising and score highly so I buy them.

Some of the finest producers in France can be found in the Rhone.  The wines can be big and beefy with rich flavours or can be fragrant, with a touch of spice but also soft and fruity. The style varies depending on where the grapes are grown and the producer, from the elegant classics of the northern Rhone, Cote Rotie and Croze Hermitage, to the chunkier style of the southern Rhone, whose most well known area being Chateauneuf du Pape. The two main grapes varieties in this region, which also happen to be two of my favourites, are Syrah, also known as Shiraz, and Grenache, known as Garnacha in Spain. The majority of the wines in the northern Rhone are made from Syrah while in the southern Rhone there is more Grenache.


Wines that surprise


Currently in stock there are two excellent Rhone wines.  Cave de Tain ‘Les Hauts de Fief’, Croze Hermitage from the northern Rhone. Cave du Tain is one of the the top producers and has been received high praise from  Jancis Robinson and Robert Parker. My tasting note read ‘Elegant, full bodied yet smooth with loads of dark berries, chocolate, coffee, oak and mixed spices flavours’.   The second wine is from an old friend of TheWinePlace.es the winemaker Eric Monnin, chief winemaker at Domaine Boutinot in Cairanne in the Southern Rhone.

Eric Monnin

Eric is a first rate winemaker and a really nice guy.  He has a degree in Physics, Chemistry and Biology from Besancon University and a Masters in Oenology from the University of Reims.  He has worked for the renowned Champagne house Louis Roederer, later in Burgundy he worked for Bouchard Père y Fils in Beaune and William Fèvre in Chablis.  He is known in the business for having a great palate and highly knowledgable.

He feels most at home working in the vineyards and and cellar.  He spends his time between the winery in Cairanne and visiting growers and winemakers throughout the Rhone, working with them and advising them on every aspect of the winemaking process.  He is famous for his red wines and is known locally as “Eric le Rouge”.

For those of you who were lucky enough to try his multi award winning Les Six Cairanne, Cote du Rhone Village, I am sure that you will agree me with me that, in terms of wines that surprise, this was a wonderful wine.   Boutinot ‘Les Coteaux’ Cote du Rhone Village while not ‘big’ as Les Six is still a really enjoyable glass of wine.   Les Coteaux is made with Grenache, 85%, with a touch of Syrah, 15%.  It is notable for the sweetness of the fruit, with a touch of spice, quite a full bodied wine but yet very easy to drink.  If this is the first time that you are going to try a wine from the Rhone then this is a great with which to being.  On the other hand if you, like me, like this style of wine you should then stock up on this wine while stocks last.

We have just a few cases left of Les Coteaux Cote du Rhone and today you can buy this wine at a special price of €9,95 per bottle, normal price €14,99.  Just click here and place your order.

Hasta luego!

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I am a Northern Irishman based in Valencia. My career in wine began more than three decades ago, in London. I am the founder of TheWinePlace.es, an online store, where wine enthusiasts can enjoy a selection of international wines and Verde Marte, a company dedicated to exporting Spanish wines. Also, Thewineplace.courses, an "approved program provider" of the courses of the prestigious WSET. I share my passion for wines through my media work writing weekly columns for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo and 5 Barricas, an online wine magazine.

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