What to drink this week
Northern Rhône 2015
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.