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Rhone looking at another good year

on 14/03/11 at 7:56 pm


The 2010 vintage in the Rhône is causing a stir among producers up and down the valley, with many saying it could yet surpass 2009 and that its quality more than makes up for its small size.

Tasting at the Découvertes en Vallée du Rhône fair last week, the drinks business took the pulse of numerous producers regarding the still-maturing vintage.

Nick Thompson, owner of L’Ameillaud in Cairanne, said that a poor flowering had affected the Grenache in particular but meant that colour and concentration courtesy of Syrah and Mourvèdre would be higher. Overall he described the wines as “well balanced with an acidity higher than 09.”

Daniel Coulon the owner of Domaine de Beaurenard in Châteauneuf du Pape said that it was “very difficult to choose between 2009 and 2010.”

Words like “pure” and “mineral” were used by many producers and Simon Field MW, buying director for Berry Bros & Rudd, told db that 2010 did indeed appear to have “more finesse”.

Pricing at this stage is pure speculation, but as they tend to stay stable among the Rhône’s estates from year to year, Field thought that even a good year like 2010 coming in on the back of another successful vintage such as 2009 would see very little change in price between the two.

However, as the 2010 vintage will be so much smaller in volume there is always a chance that there “may be slight upward pressure but only lower single figure increases, which is very sensible but also a reflection that the Rhône hasn’t yet quite arrived.”

On the other hand, it certainly has its admirers and Field said that the 2009s from the north have sold very quickly.