Rhône 2020 En Primeur

The quality drive within the Rhône Valley is continuing, helped in no small part by a series of great vintages, of which 2020 is looking top drawer! Winemakers are now striving to use less new oak, more gentle extraction and are looking to achieve greater balance in the wines. This is a region that offers great value and high quality across the spectrum.

THE BIG PICTURE
Another very successful vintage in the Rhône, 2020 has produced wines that Marc Perrin of Château de Beaucastel describes as having ‘intensity and balance’. The vintage overall he describes as ‘just a great vintage’ having the ‘same profile as 1990 and 2010’ and being able to drink young as well as to age well. The key attributes of ripe fruit and purity of flavour are very much in evidence in the Northern Rhône too, where producers like Caroline Frey at Paul Jaboulet Aîné have made wonderfully harmonious wines from some top-quality Syrah. Given the effect of frost in 2021, this would seem a good vintage to buy. 

THE WINES
Both Northern and Southern reds are characterised by having good, ripe fruit, a bit more restraint than in 2019, often with a slightly firmer tannic structure on the finish. Châteauneuf maestro, Daniel Brunier of Vieux Télégraphe, told us that the ‘tannic structure outlines the wine without forcing itself upon you’. It’s this that gives the wines their elegance as well as balance and, as a result of the slightly cooler weather in 2020 compared with 2019, there is also a reasonable level of acidity which keeps the wine fresh and together. Alcohol levels are generally slightly lower, noticeable in the often big wines of Rasteau and Vinsobres which we felt on tasting had more restraint and a finer line to them, while keeping their natural generosity of character. In the North, Crozes-Hermitage and Saint Joseph combined richness with stature and finesse – in fact there are impressive wines from most, if not all, our longstanding producers.
 
Particular mention must also be made of the whites which have been very successful with great intensity coupled with wonderful balance. The Condrieus from André Perret are world-class, while you’ll also find finesse this year in the white Châteauneufs and the simpler styles from places like Séguret and Crozes-Hermitage. The wines offered here are age-worthy after time in barrel and will be released with the reds, but we also hope to offer separately some parcels of the lighter, fresher white styles that don’t appear on the list and we will ship later this year – do keep an eye out for them.

THE CONDITIONS
The weather was generally good and was helped by a wet end to 2019 which replenished water levels and enabled the vines to survive the generally dry conditions in 2020. The rest of the winter and spring was mild although quite windy. The summer was hot and dry which restricted yields but the nights were cool and humid and this helped preserve the freshness in the wines as well as keeping everything healthy. Harvesting began at the end of August and ended for Vieux Télégraphe by the 19th September, the earliest on record for this property. Conditions were good throughout and the grapes were delivered to the wineries in excellent health.

Perrin Family

Type

Red

Notes

An attractive, forward wine with plenty of soft, upfront red fruits with spicy...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£42.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

White

Notes

A juicier version of the Perrin's excellent white Châteauneuf that includes grapes from...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£72.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

White

Notes

In this excellent vintage for white wines, the Sinards white, sourced and blended by...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£117.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

A classy wine with plenty of brambly blue and black fruits on the palate. Excellent…

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£240.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

An excellent Beaucastel with red and black fruits on the palate and plenty of ripe...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£282.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

White

Notes

Full and intense with plenty of soft white and yellow fruit showing, honeysuckle...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£300.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

This has a wonderful purity of fruit, with good concentration. There's plenty of...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£126.00

Qty.

 

Type

Red

Notes

Inky colour with a floral nose with violets and red plums. The palate has a sweet...

Pack Size

case of 12

Price

£282.00

Qty.

 

Paul Jaboulet Aîné

Type

Red

Notes

"Yet another beautiful 2020, Thalabert is deep, dark and brooding in this vintage...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£99.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

"In cooler vintages, La Croix des Vignes is a spicy, herbal, aromatherapeutic...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£144.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

"If Thalabert is the friendly face of Crozes, then Domaine de Roure is backward...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£156.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

"Domaine de Saint Pierre usually sports a midnight black hue and impenetrable...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£198.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

"The warmer weather conditions in 2020 have augmented the pepper and spice...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£246.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

White

Notes

"Notably pale in colour which suits a focused and restrained nose. This is...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£594.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

"While there are faint roasted coffee bean notes here, which hint at the warm...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£726.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Château de Beaucastel

Type

Red

Notes

An excellent Beaucastel with red and black fruits on the palate and plenty of ripe...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£282.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

Inky colour with a floral nose with violets and red plums. The palate has a sweet...

Pack Size

case of 12

Price

£282.00

Qty.

 

André Perret

Type

Red

Notes

More dark red cherry and plum character about this, both on the nose...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£87.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

Ripe dark red fruit, hint of liquorice, spices behind which all arrive on...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£120.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

White

Notes

Possibly the very definition of Viognier in 2020: great aromatic intensity...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£198.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

White

Notes

Soft floral aromas on the nose, hugely attractive. Fuller in flavour...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£198.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

White

Notes

On top form, this has a lush palate following a fragrant nose with...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£159.00

Qty.

 

Type

White

Notes

Very pure nose, the 'half-n-half' Roussanne and Marsanne being ripe...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£111.00

Qty.

 

Type

White

Notes

Quite a deep rich colour, a nutty, spicy side shows on the first palate...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£66.00

Qty.

 

Type

White

Notes

An entry level Viognier from the master of Condrieu...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£72.00

Qty.

 

Château Courac

Type

Red

Notes

Lovely ripe fruity nose of black cherry, blackberry and damson with a light...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£36.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Domaine de l'Amandine

Type

Red

Notes

Ripe, perfumed blue and black fruits on the nose with a little savoury...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£36.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Domaine la Collière

Type

Red

Notes

An enticing whiff of tar with a touch of smoke and dark fruits on the nose...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£48.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

Tightly-wound but shows lovely precision and focus which is very attractive...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£60.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

More open than the Esprit, spicier with blue fruits and while ripe there is...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£90.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Domaine La Soumade - F Romero

Type

Red

Notes

Ripe, clean-cut, well-balanced with a seamless nose of red and blue bramble...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£51.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

A wonderfully silky wine with succulent black fruit flavours of cherry...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£66.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

Reticent on the nose initially, but a little coaxing brings out a mix of ripe...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£81.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

Red and blue fruit aromas and some darker notes besides. This shows good lift...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£141.00

Qty.

 

Domaine Giraud

Type

Red

Notes

A sweet, classic Grenache nose of strawberry jam with touches of dark cherry fruit...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£63.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

Pretty, open and accessible with a red fruit quality. There are sweet pockets...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£150.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

Complex, creamy blue fruits on the nose, very attractive and shows depth...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£348.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

A ripe but not overly sweet nose with some soft spicing. Soft red Grenache fruit...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£348.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Famille Gonnet

Type

Red

Notes

An inviting, fresh, and open nose with pretty, fragrant bramble fruits...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£84.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

Wonderfully open and inviting nose with strawberry cake character, mellow...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£124.50

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

Very attractive nose which is herby and floral with blue-tinged fruits...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£39.00

Qty.

 

Le Clos des Cazaux

Type

Red

Notes

Lovely sweetness of bramble fruits and expressive Syrah notes of camphor...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£66.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

The vineyards of this wine are at 600m altitude with limestone soils giving...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£72.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Domaine du Colombier

Type

Red

Notes

A big wine with plenty of concentrated black fruit character and good oak...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£90.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

White

Notes

A delicate nose initially which is ripe and broadly soft, opening out to notes...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£126.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

Notably paler than most and a lighter, more lifted and elegant quality...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£126.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

Due to the tiny quantities produced of this wine in 2020 we have been unable...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£264.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

Due to the tiny quantities produced of this wine in 2020 we have been unable...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£264.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Domaine du Cayron

Type

Red

Notes

"Dark red colour with lovely nose of blackcurrant fruit and a hint of garrigue...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£108.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Brunier Family

Type

Red

Notes

Full and concentrated with ground coffee aromas dark fruits. Plenty of liquorice…

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£126.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

Soft and attractive, very silky with lovely juicy red fruits and touches of spice…

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£180.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

Wonderfully concentrated and intense with berried, spicy fruit on the nose...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£240.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

Ripe nose with black fruits with touches of oak and smoke. Full and rich...

Pack Size

case of 3 magnums

Price

£246.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

Ripe nose with black fruits with touches of oak and smoke. Full and rich...

Pack Size

case of 12

Price

£246.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Domaine Mucyn

Type

Red

Notes

Creamy nose, notes of blackberry and black cherry jam, game, camphor, dried...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£69.00

Qty.

 

Type

Red

Notes

Dense and ripe with intense and plummy fruit. Plenty of tannins but they...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£150.00

Qty.

 

Type

Red

Notes

Ripe, dense nose of dark brambles and damson. The palate is nicely balanced...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£81.00

Qty.

 

Pierre Gaillard

Type

Red

Notes

A lovely ripe nose of blackberry and black cherry, a touch of cream and good...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£36.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

A smooth and easy going Crozes with soft red fruits, good balance and mouthfeel...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£81.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

Gorgeous ripe, youthful nose showing some wood and vanilla, creamy blackberry...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£135.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

White

Notes

Attractive fragrant peach and apple aromas with a touch of earthy geranium...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£147.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

Smoky nose, a dollop of oak and bacon fat, smoky embers and creamy pockets...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£186.00

Qty.

 

Shipping Spring 2023

Type

Red

Notes

Only around 500 cases produced of this wine each year. Dark fruit dominates...

Pack Size

case of 6

Price

£150.00

Qty.