What to drink this week

North­ern Rhône 2015

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country Notebook -

This vin­tage is vi­tal for any se­ri­ous cel­lar, warns Harry Eyres

There’s been en­thu­si­as­tic talk— in­clud­ing in this col­umn—of 2015 red Bur­gundy and 2015 red Bordeaux. This great vin­tage just keeps giv­ing, as 2015 was also quite ex­cep­tional in the Rhône val­ley, es­pe­cially in the north. Mar­cel Gui­gal has called it the best vin­tage he has ever known, which means the best in more than 50 years.

Why you should be buy­ing them

My im­pres­sion at a big 2015 Rhône tast­ing at­tended by a good num­ber of grow­ers re­cently—it used to be hard to get them to travel north of Lyon—was of some­thing close to per­fec­tion. It wasn’t the size or power of the wines that im­pressed, but their per­fect bal­ance and beauty. These are wines that should be in any se­ri­ous cel­lar.

What to buy

Two north­ern Rhône ap­pel­la­tions that per­formed ex­cep­tion­ally well in 2015 and are worth seek­ing out are St Joseph and Crozes-her­mitage— they of­fer value for money as well as in­creas­ingly ex­cel­lent qual­ity. St Joseph Les Ser­ines 2015 from Do­maine Yves Cuilleron (be­low, £141 per six in bond; www.bbr.com) has a haunt­ing fra­grance of vi­o­lets and, although it’s a bit closed on the palate, it’s full of prom­ise and will make splen­did drink­ing over the next two to five years. Crozes-her­mitage 2015 Do­maine Lau­rent Com­bier (£72 per six in bond; www. bbr.com) is beau­ti­fully open and aro­matic—a hint of olives—with sat­is­fy­ing bal­ance. Some north­ern Rhône whites were also su­perb in 2015: try the Con­drieu Côte Bon­nette 2015 from Do­maine Mou­ton (£126 per six in bond; www. bbr.com) for its peachy fra­grance and lovely mid­palate round­ness.

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