(2022) Grenache and Syrah from the named villages of the Côtes du Rhône, unoaked but aged for several months in tank before release. It's a smooth and buoyant style this, creamy with plum and berry fruit, a little tobacco-like spice, and a twang of dried herbs to boot. In the mouth it is soft and enveloping, a smooth and creamy mouthful of dark, spiced plum compote. There's chocolate too, in a very crowd-pleasing, easy-drinking style of big-hearted wine with only moderate tannin and acidity to bolster the finish. Watch for this on promotion, as it is at time of review down to £7.49.
(2022) Made by Gabriel Meffre, this is led by Grenache (60%). There's a meatiness here, a light game character over herby black fruits. The fruit is very pure and quite plush on the palate, well balanced and intense, with very good concentration. Long and classic, excellent fruit ripeness.
(2022) A typical blend around Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre from one of the top satellite appellations around Châteauneuf-du-Pâpe. Spicy and peppery with a touch of leather and game to dark, rich bramble fruit. On the palate a little bright edge of raspberry adds a top note, while liquorice and endive underpin the black fruit succulence. This feels as though it is built to age for me, and I would imagine 10 years will be taken in its stride.
(2022) A biodynamic wine from a family estate of 50 hectares, this is 50% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 15% Clairette and 15% Syrah. Vines are over 50 years old, and a macertation of 36 hours has produced a typically dark, Negroni-coloured wine with cherry and vine fruit aromas, a little bit of creaminess and a touch of earthy character. In the mouth it is weighty and dry, much more savoury, lemony and with a little tannin structure than a Provence rosé for example. Don't chill this too much, and treat it as a food-, rather than a sipping-wine.
(2022) From the Rhône Valley, the blend is 40% clairette, 35% grenache and 25% picpoul. Quite creamy, but fresh on the nose, taut apple fruit leads on to a softer, fuller palate, teetering on the edge of peachiness, but a decisive and pithy lemon acidity sharpens things up again to a refreshing, lightly saline finish.
(2022) A big blend here of 30% roussanne, 30% clairette, 20% viognier, 10% marsanne and 10% bourboulenc. Around 10% was aged in large oak foudre. Creamy, fat apple on the nose, a little cut of lime, before the palate shows lovely sweetness and clarity, a great juiciness here, so much sweetness of fruit but a sherbetty-bright acidity too.
(2022) Syrah from the northern Rhône, made for the Society by Maison et Domaines les Alexandrins, it was aged six months on fine lees in stainless steel and neutral oak. Vivid and deep crimson/purple in colour, the nose is tightly-wound and slightly impenetrable at this stage. In the mouth really nice fruit that is much more vivid, plum and blueberry, a little peppery spice, and a composed finish. Quite serious and sinewy for a Crozes, but needs food.
(2022) A blend of Roussanne and Grenache Blanc, this is nutty and immediately suggests some breadth and power on the nose, stone fruits and a nutty, dry fig and apricot character. In the mouth there is plenty of ripe fruit and palate weight, a fairly concentrated and intense style this, but with only 13% alcohol and very good acid, it is not flabby but finishes with a blast of saltiness and citrus.
(2022) Plan de Dieu is one of the Côtes du Rhône-Villages appellations, and this is a blend of very old vine Syrah, Carignan and Mourvèdre. It has a very appealing nose, filled with blueberry and spicy red plum fruit, forward and elegantly sprinkled with white pepper. In the mouth there's a really juicy, lip-smacking fruit quality, the 14.5% alcohol, chunky tannins and nicely-pitched acidity adding deep support. Please note, this 2018 vintage has sold out and the 2019 is now shipping.
(2022) This is a white Côtes-du-Rhône, 100% Viognier, from an estate which has been certified organic since 2011. It's a truly lovely Viognier, with enough 'heady' perfume of apricot and blossom, but then plenty of citrus and firmer, pear and apple freshness too. In the mouth it wears its 14% alcohol lightly, though that does help give this texture and weight, it stays crisp and cool through to the finish.