On to the Southern Rhone, one of my favourite regions. There is such an absolute beauty that one becomes revitalised at once. The smells, colours and shades all play upon the senses.
Thorough tastings at Cros de la MÃ»re in the Côtes du Rhône, Cayron in Gigondas and Clos des Cazaux in Vacqueyras confirmed that the 06 vintage in the south is even better than in the north. The south received very little rain and though August was cooler than average, it was sunny. So ripening continued slowly, developing wonderful aromatics while retaining freshness. Though there is structure, it is less prominent than the 05s further suggesting that this vintage will be earlier drinking as well.
Font de Michelle was the first producer on the Châteauneuf du Pape trail which was subsequently followed by Crau de Ma Mère (Mayard) and Domaine Versino (otherwise known as Bois de Boursan).