"Northern Rhône 2015 is surely the vintage of a lifetime." – Marcel Guigal, E. Guigal
What a treat this evening to taste such a vintage from 5 appellations in Northern Rhône (see map below): Côte Rôtie, St. Joseph, Hermitage, Croze Hermitage and Cornas.
Our guest speaker this evening was Stephen Ranger from Ranger Wine, renowned auctioneer and wine expert. He began the evening by promising us the full spectrum of aromatics for Rhône wines: mint, eucalyptus, bramble and dark berries, licorice, black pepper, smoked meats, tobacco and leather! The 2015 vintage was ideal with a perfect summer of warm days and cooler nights in August, and the harvest was abundant.
The majority of red wine produced in Northern Rhône is made from the Syrah grape (also known as Shiraz in other parts of the world). This grape is highly influenced by local climate and terroir and is one of the world's most diverse and successful grape varieties. The Northern Valley’s most famous wines are the long-lived, intensely flavoured reds of Hermitage and the more fragrant and delicate Côte Rôtie, the latter often due to the inclusion of a small proportion of the white Viognier grape variety but most is now made from 100% Syrah. Saint-Joseph wines are strong flavoured and refined, expressing notes of pepper and spices, often accompanied by notes of violet mixed with minerals. Red Crozes-Hermitage wines are elegant, balanced, and a pleasure to drink. Cornas in the southern end of the Northern Rhône valley appellation produces very worthy and exciting Syrah which benefit from cellaring.
This was an exceptional line-up! I found it difficult to distinguish between the nuances of these wines but I did manage to identify my three top wines. And my favourite ended up being not only the most expensive but also the only Northern Rhône winery I have managed to visit too! How did you find this tasting? Did you agree with our guest?
Here are the scores from the night:
And here is the original notice (with tasting notes) for this event: