Blind Tasting of Rhone Wines

This tasting was done to compare Grenache and Syrah based wines that are common to the southern Rhone Valley in France. The southern Rhone is a very warm region and is known for wines made with Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre. They are typically dominant with either Syrah or Grenache. We selected wines from a variety of places so we could try to discover the differences region makes in the wines. We had six wines with five tasters. The wines we tasted were:

1) 2010 Domaine de Fondreche “Nadal” Ventoux $20, 14.5% 91 Parker

2) 2010 Domaine de Fondreche Cotes du Ventoux Persia $30, 14.5% 93 Parker

3) 2013 Cotes du Rhone, Les Abeilles Rouge, Jean-Luc Colombo

4) 2013 Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage $31, 14.5% 91 Vinous

5) 2010 Domaine Saint Gayan Gigondas $22, 14%

6) 2012 Tenet Le Frevent, Chateau Saint Michelle partner

Wine # 5 was corked so it wasn’t tasted and no notes were taken. My notes on my three favorite wines were as follows:

1) Earth, licorice, dill on nose, dark chocolate on palate with fine grained tannins. 93 Alain Graillot

2) Black olive, green tobacco, earth, leather on nose. Big wine with firm tannins on palate. 92 Nadal

3) Subtle closed in nose of licorice and earth. Firm tannins with a lingering finish. 90

Persia

The Rhone is a wine region that offers some very price point friendly wines. It is easy to find solid wines in the $20 range, like the 2010 Domaine de Fondreche “Nadal” Ventoux. There are many regions to explore, but my personal favorites tend to be more north in the Cote Rotie and Crozes-Hermitage. If you like Syrah I highly recommend trying a few wines from the Rhone. Here is a link to a map so you can see how many different regions there are. httpssss://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhône_wine#/media/File:Vignobles_rhone.png

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