The Goedhuis Rhône En Primeur tasting at the Grocer’s Hall was the perfect opportunity to get an impression of the 2012 vintage and meet the producers of these iconic wines.
It is such a treat to speak to the creative force behind wines of such a diverse region. Whether a novice to Rhône or a dedicated amateur, the incredible mosaic of textures and flavours is bound to satisfy even the most curious palate.
I noted a distinct difference in colour and between Beaucastel and Vieux Télégraphe, David Roberts MW explained that this could be due to the blend containing more Syrah, “˜Syrah is almost black when young’. Despite their youth, the majority of the 2012s were approachable and expressive, the sheer ripeness of fruit showed off the potential of this vintage.
Outside of the diverse spectrum of varietals that go into some of the blends (a bottle of Châteauneuf du Pape can contain upto 13 grape varieties) the difference in climatic conditions between the Northern and Sothern Rhône appellations is significant. The Crozes Hermitage Cuvée Gaby, Domaine de Colombier 2012, (Northern Rhône) for instance, had red berry fruit and a tight tannic structure, with a vibrancy and lift at the finish. The Gigondas Terrace du Diable, Domaine Les Palliers (Southern-most tip of Rhône) was bold and intense, black berries and spice – a product of generous sunlight and dry earth.
It is fascinating to experience how even the most neighbouring of plots can have a spectacularly unique expression in the glass. I asked the producer, René Rostaing, how much the personality of the wine maker impacts upon the style of the wine. “˜Not very much, I hope. We try to make minimal adjustments to let the fruit speak for itself’. As he tasted his Condrieu La Bonnette he said, “˜All thanks to my terroir’.