A lot of the critics, in particular the ’emperor’of wine, Mr. Parker himself, have been raving about Rhone 2007s, especially southern.
Adam and I recently went to a J&B tasting of Rhone and Loire 2008. While some of the Loire wines were of superb quality the 2008 Rhône were generally disappointing. A lot of the domaines were showing a 2004 wine too, as if to say this is what the wines will develop into. Although a very welcome way of getting an insight into how the wines would develop, sadly it didn’t do much to reassure.
The 2007 do seem to be a different story. I haven’t got any of the en primeur wines I ordered yet so I don’t know about the CNDP and higher quality end. (I did get a sneak preview at a Bordeaux Index Rhone 2006 tasting earlier this year of the Pegau Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée Réservée, 2007 which was just so juicy, sweet and approachably delicious.) However I’ve recently tried a couple of every day drinking wines that were great.
Firstly (at a party hosted in Fortnum & Mason by a big surveying firm) Fortnum’s own Côtes du Rhône by Andre Brunel at £7.50. This was fruity and jammy with a nice peppery finish and very drinkable.
Secondly Rasteau Côtes-du-Rhône Villages, Domaine des Escaravailles, 2007 from the Wine Soc at £7.95 a bottle, even better, juicy and succulent, bursting with fruit but with a spicy edge.
I’ve often turned to southern Rhône; Cairanne, Rasteau and Vacqueyras for great everyday drinking at well under a tenner, especially when aged for a few years, and it looks like 2007 is a vintage worth stocking up on.