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Home Winners > Winners 2015 > FRANCE: Red Rhône

Winner Details

FRANCE: Red Rhône


2015: Gold 7 Silver 13 Bronze 15 Commended 16
2014: Gold 6 Silver 19 Bronze 11 Commended 16 


And still it goes on. Bordeaux might have the châteaux, Burgundy might have the micro-terroirs, and Champagne might have the marketing, but when it comes to pure quality, you’re hard pushed to beat the Rhône. Year after year its reds are France’s top-performing region in this competition, and so it was again in 2015.

Sure, the number of Silvers might have been down on last year, suggesting a slightly less broad spread of excellence overall. But seven Gold-listed reds was a record. And while we expect great things from the Northern appellations (and to a lesser extent the South), it was particularly heartening to get such positive feedback, and to see three Golds for AC Côtes du Rhône and Village wines.


From the Tasting Teams


‘I was very impressed by this [Côtes du Rhône] flight; some great wines and some great value, especially at the £6-8 mark.’ Roger Jones, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn

‘Many complex wines [from the Northern Rhône], and so appellation-specific. You get exactly what you are looking for in terms of price-point, structure, complexity and more. I think this is absolute value for money, especially between £20 and £30 a bottle.’ Gareth Ferreira, Launceston Place

‘It was difficult to find anything to fault in our Northern Rhône flight; very polished, well-made wines with great complexity. I see these as an investment. You keep them and then after a few years you really surprise your customers.’ Diego Muntoni, Oxo Tower Restaurant

‘You need to differentiate Gigondas, Vaqueyras, etc, on the list, to explain both the differences in styles of the wines and also why people are paying more than for the basic wines.’ Jonathan Kleeman, The Ritz Hotel

‘Côtes du Rhône is such a well-perceived appellation – any list needs examples of these wines, and here they lived up to their quality for value reputation.’ Martin Lam, team leader

‘Southern Rhônes are a textbook match with lamb shoulder, game, generally quite big flavours with herbs like rosemary and bay – even cassoulet.’ Benjamin Chan, Hakkasan Mayfair

‘Northern Rhône wines command a premium and respect on the wine list. But the region hasn’t reached the craziness of Burgundy or Piedmont in pricing.’
James Hocking, The Vineyard Group

Award winners

Found 51 wines

Red Rhône

Nicolas Perrin, Crozes-Hermitage 2012, Rhône, France

Gold medal winner

Spice, balance, silky tannins – Perrin's Crozes has it all. Gareth Ferreira of Launceston Place liked the ‘nice subtle spice and balanced finish, adding: ‘Black fruit and green olive tapenade, juicy fruit with tobacco notes.’ Team leader Natasha Hughes MW noted a ‘slightly reductive nose, but it's explosive, with a lovely, smoky spicy palate, brisk with supple tannins.' Good value. Match with chargrilled steak.

£14.00 Liberty Wines

Terres des Amoureuses, Black Sublim, Pays de Méditerranée 2011, Rhône, France

Gold medal winner

In this case, big [ITAL]is[/ITAL] beautiful. 'Well balanced and structured, with supple fruit and a black berry finish,' said consultant Sam Caporn MW. ‘Zingy, big and intense, with loads of red fruit flavours. A huge wine,’ said Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering, adding: ‘With the right food, big and spicy, good stuff.’ ‘Dense, juicy and mineral, put with lamb chasseur,’ suggested Andrea Fasan of La Petite Maison.

£23.00 Bulles Blanc Rouge

Château de Campuget, La Sommelière, Syrah, Costières de Nîmes 2012, Rhône, France

Gold medal winner

'Serious', 'wonderful', 'majestic' – just some of the praise heaped on the well-balanced Château du Campuget – no wonder it picked up Gold! 'There's a silky, lingering, long, luscious flavour,' said Roger Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn. William Sheard of Donostia Restaurants added: ‘Lovely expressive, fruit-laden nose, with tar, liquorice, balanced tannins and fruit.’ Back to Roger for a tempting food match: slow-cooked mutton with capers, rosemary and garlic.

£13.90 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Guy Farge, Harmonie, Cornas 2012, Rhône, France

Gold medal winner Critics Choice

Heady and perfumed, no wonder Guy Farge secured a Critics' Choice as well as Gold for his Cornas. Team leader Natasha Hughes MW was taken with its ‘floral, spice and savoury complexity’, adding: ‘Lovely silky texture and tannins, fresh and mineral.’ ‘Dry, with violets, pepper, black and white plums, and red cherry,’ said Diego Muntoni of Oxo Tower Restaurant, while Caroline Brangé of 28°-50° Mayfair said: 'A real North Rhône expression: garrigues, black pepper, great minerality.'

£26.08 Enotria&Coe

Domaine de Montvac, Variation, Vacqueyras 2012, Rhône, France

Gold medal winner

Authenticity and vibrancy took Domaine de Montvac to the top. 'Black olive and purple ink in the glass, this is really vibrant on the palate, with excellent fruit,' said team leader Jade Koch. 'There's notes of cigar, smoke and leather on the nose, a full body and good length, making this perfect with lamb shank and venison,' said Benjamin Chan of Hakkasan Mayfair.

£18.69 Enotria&Coe

Boutinot Fide et Arte, Les Deux Barriques, Cairanne Côtes du Rhône Villages 2011, Rhône, France

Gold medal winner

With good texture and complexity of flavours, a worthy Gold winner. 'Balsamic, leather and cigar box,' noted team leader Andrea Briccarello. 'Big, New World oaky style, with rich Grenache coming through,' said Roger Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, adding: 'Lovely sweetness. It's an exciting wine. Dried strawberry and fruity flavours with vanilla overtones and hints of coffee at the end. Perfect with steak tartare and chips.'

£16.50 Boutinot

Boutinot, Haute Marone, Le Torrent du Trignon, Sablet Côtes du Rhône Villages 2012, Rhône, France

Gold medal winner By the glass

An expressive bouquet of leather, cigar box and spicy fruit illustrated why the Haute Marone picked up a By The Glass gong as well as Gold. ‘Vibrant, spicy, very approachable but big enough to impress,’ said Sandro Lyhs of Oxo Tower Bar, while team leader Annette Scarfe MW found: ‘Floral notes and ripe fruit, with spice on a warm finish.’

£7.25 Boutinot

Domaine Brusset, Tradition Le Grand Montmirail, Gigondas 2013, Rhône, France

Silver medal winner

Jonathan Kleeman of The Ritz Hotel found this ‘perfect for steak’, with its 'rich flavours, bold tannins, peppery notes and sweet spices’. ‘Really good wine,’ concluded team leader Olivier Marie.

£16.27 Enotria&Coe

Domaine Brusset, Les Hauts de Montmirail, Gigondas 2013, Rhône, France

Silver medal winner

‘Rich and full, can be drunk now but still has bottle ageing to be done, with its solid, dark fruits, spice and earthy herbaceousness,’ said The Ritz Hotel’s Jonathan Kleeman. ‘Structured and characterful, chocolatey and gamey,’ added team leader Olivier Marie.

£23.79 Enotria&Coe

Delas, Grignan-les-Adhémar 2013, Rhône, France

Silver medal winner

'Juicy, full-on classic,' began Roger Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, continuing: 'Nice Syrah coming through, lovely balance and juicy, lingering precise fruit with spicy blackberry, cassis and heather. Perfect.' 'Plenty of ripe, spicy, plump fruit,' agreed Studio Alto's Neil Bruce. 'Very drinkable.'

£6.69 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Ogier, Plan de Dieu, Côtes du Rhône Villages 2013, Rhône, France

Silver medal winner

‘Soft and approachable, with red fruits and a slightly vegetal note on the finish,’ said William Sheard of Donostia Restaurants. ‘Attractive, soft, easy-drinking style,’ agreed team leader Annette Scarfe MW.

£7.99 Matthew Clark

Domaine de la Solitude, Côtes du Rhône 2013, Rhône, France

Silver medal winner

‘A more evolved style, showing sweet tannins and juicy fruit,’ said team leader Annette Scarfe MW, with Sandro Lyhs of Oxo Tower Bar adding simply: ‘Very elegant.’

£9.64 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Boutinot, Les Galets Roulés, Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2012, Rhône, France

Silver medal winner

‘Complex, garrigue-herb style that needs time to breathe,’ said team leader Olivier Marie, with The Ritz Hotel’s Jonathan Kleeman adding: ‘White pepper and herbaceous notes with a hint of chocolate make it good for game.’

£14.00 Boutinot

La Célestière, Tradition, Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2010, Rhône, France

Silver medal winner

‘Raw, Syrah-dominated and gamey,’ said approving team leader Richard Bampfield MW, adding: ‘Rich, warming white pepper with huge intensity. Really very good.’

£20.34 The Flying Corkscrew

Jean-Luc Colombo, Les Bartavelles, Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2012, Rhône, France

Silver medal winner

‘Opulent, bold nose, generous and lively, stylish on the palate, long and pleasant, with pure fruit and a persistent finish,’ said Andrea Fasan of La Petite Maison. Team leader Richard Bampfield MW added: ‘Tastes as if it is good for you. Sheer joy, if not too complex.’

£14.53 Hatch Mansfield

Cave de Tain, Les Hauts du Fief, Crozes-Hermitage 2011, Rhône, France

Silver medal winner

'Inky eucalyptus, bay and liquorice on the nose,’ said team leader Jade Koch, adding: ‘Sweaty, plummy red fruit with firm tannins and a chunk of vanilla.’ ‘Smooth red fruits, spicy full body and finish,’ added Joao Ribeiro of Buddha-Bar London.

£13.85 Boutinot

Cave de Tain, Les Arènes Sauvages, Cornas 2010, Rhône, France

Silver medal winner

‘Pencil shavings and blackcurrant aromas, with smoky minerals, meaty and intense on the palate,’ said an impressed Diego Muntoni of Oxo Tower Restaurant, adding: ‘Concentrated with big tannin – will develop into a beauty.’

£21.00 Boutinot

Jaboulet, La Chapelle, Hermitage 2007, Rhône, France

Silver medal winner

‘Savoury style, with leather, dark spices and dark olive,’ said Gareth Ferreira of Launceston Place, adding: ‘Very layered and complex wine. Tannins are firm but fine-grained. Powerful and very young, but very long, too. Match with grilled meats.’ Qualms about the price, along with its relatively youthful persona edged it into Silver status.

£113.47 Bibendum

Domaine Grand Veneur, Clos de Sixte, Lirac 2011, Rhône, France

Silver medal winner

‘Nice sweet tannins, lovely rich fruit, with a floral side and herbal character to balance,’ noted team leader Olivier Marie. ‘Rich chocolate and dark fruit, smoky, juicy and tannic,’ added Vittorio Gentile of Theo Randall at The InterContinental Hotel.

£12.10 Bibendum

La Verrerie, Esprit Bastide, Luberon 2012, Rhône, France

Silver medal winner

William Sheard of Donostia Restaurants found ‘brambly red fruits and wet stones on the nose’, along with ‘redcurrants and integrated tannins’. ‘Subtle and elegant with amazing balance,’ added Sandro Lyhs of Oxo Tower Bar.

£11.00 Liberty Wines

Vidal-Fleury, Crozes-Hermitage 2012, Rhône, France

Bronze medal winner

'Black olives and currants. This is a full, intense, balanced red with integrated oak and liquorice notes to finish,' found Diego Muntoni of Oxo Tower Restaurant. 'Violets, smoky bacon and a fleshy palate,' agreed team leader Natasha Hughes MW.

£11.62 Louis Latour Agencies

Terraventoux, Terres de Truffes, Ventoux 2012, Rhône, France

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Annette Scarfe MW found this ‘appealing’, with ‘savoury, meaty notes'. ‘Chewy tannins but good fruit and well integrated. Will develop,’ added William Sheard of Donostia Restaurants.

£8.68 Bibendum

Domaine des Cigalounes, Lirac 2011, Rhône, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Scented and a touch tarry on the nose, with mature, tobacco-scented fruit on the palate and a fresh finish,’ said team leader Richard Bampfield MW, adding: ‘Actually very flavoursome and refined, and a lovely food match.’

£9.23 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Domaine André Brunel, Est-Ouest, Côtes du Rhône 2012, Rhône, France

Bronze medal winner

With team leader Martin Lam noting 'characterful dark liquorice and spices', Roger Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn added: 'Some farmyard notes, but juicy fruit, saddle leather and some tannin, with juicy blackcurrant at the end. Spice then elegance.'

£7.58 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Vignobles La Coterie, Dom Vénitia, Cru Beaumes-de-Venise Rouge 2012, Rhône, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Fresh, fruity and honest, in a juicy, off-dry style. Packed with flavour and certainly easy to like,’ said team leader Richard Bampfield MW. ‘Plummy character with a big warmth,’ added Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering.

£7.00 Bottle Green

Domaine du Chêne, Saint-Joseph 2011, Rhône, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Has that perfect Rhône, ripe berry character and good tannin structure,’ noted team leader Jade Koch, adding: ‘Rhubarb and black olive aromas, with tart, ripe juicy fruit on the palate. Pretty, sweet, with a fine finish.’

£16.00 Liberty Wines

Domaine Brusset, Les Travers, Cairanne Côtes du Rhône Villages 2012, Rhône, France

Bronze medal winner

'Delicate, appealing flavour that grows on one. Exciting style, spiced, clean and textured with lavender aromatics,' said Roger Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, recommending to decant this now or keep to age.

£11.26 Enotria&Coe

St Cosme, Côtes du Rhône 2013, Rhône, France

Bronze medal winner

'Appealing, warm spice and fruit nose, with a generous, juicy palate,' noted team leader Martin Lam. 'Clean, full flavour with good tannin. Keep to age,' added Roger Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn.

£9.67 Bibendum

Boutinot Fide et Arte, Les Coteaux, Côtes du Rhône Villages 2012, Rhône, France

Bronze medal winner

'Sweet Grenache fruit on the nose and palate. Simple and rather pleasing,' said team leader Martin Lam, with Roger Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn adding: 'Clean, bright and precise, blackcurrant cordial, fresh and lively with notes of saddle leather.'

£6.00 Boutinot

Jean-Luc Colombo, Les Abeilles, Côtes du Rhône 2013, Rhône, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Simple, carbonic, fruity Rhône, showing typicity and fruity bubblegum style,’ said team leader Annette Scarfe MW. ‘Soft red fruit, blackcurrant and a note of tar on the finish,’ added William Sheard of Donostia Restaurants.

£6.24 Hatch Mansfield

Domaine du Monteillet, Fortis, Côte-Rôtie 2011, Rhône, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Inky ruby colour, with berries and spice, rounded, delicate and complex with herbal notes,’ said Joao Ribeiro of Buddha-Bar London, adding: ‘Round finish with more spice, this is delicate and fine.’

£31.65 Boutinot

Cave de Tain, Gambert de Loche, Hermitage 2010, Rhône, France

Bronze medal winner

'Slightly bruised character, with notes of green olive, black pepper, paprika and blueberry fruit, along with cured meat and tobacco hints, but firm in structure, with good ageing potential,' said Gareth Ferreira of Launceston Place.

£37.75 Boutinot

Jaboulet, Le Grand Pompée, Saint-Joseph 2012, Rhône, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Very meaty, peppery and smoky on the nose, with some complexity,’ began team leader Natasha Hughes MW, continuing: ‘Silky, fine-grained tannin with floral notes on a long finish.’ ‘Earthy and perfumed with succulent acidity,’ agreed Diego Muntoni of Oxo Tower Restaurant.

£15.44 Bibendum

Jaboulet, Les Grandes Terrasses, Cornas 2010, Rhône, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Ripe red fruit and plums on the nose,’ said an impressed Laurent Richet MS of Restaurant Sat Bains, ‘with cured meat, salt and moderately high tannins. Serious wine, both a great direct pleasure and a wine to keep. A classic.’

£22.98 Bibendum

Jaboulet, La Petite Chapelle, Hermitage 2007, Rhône, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Fruit, richness, essence of flavour. Balance, intensity, young spices but still shy, although ripe fruit and moderate tannin,’ noted Laurent Richet MS of Restaurant Sat Bains. ‘Beautifully put together, expressive and round, integrated and ready to drink now. Made for pleasure,’ said equally impressed team leader Jade Koch.

£47.08 Bibendum

Nicolas Perrin, Côte-Rôtie 2012, Rhône , France

Commended medal winner

£32.50 Liberty Wines

Domaine de la Ville Rouge, Inspiration, Crozes-Hermitage 2013, Rhône , France

Commended medal winner

Domaine Saint-Damien, Les Souteyrades, Gigondas 2011, Rhône, France

Commended medal winner

Domaine de Montvac, Arabesque, Vacqueyras 2012, Rhône, France

Commended medal winner

£12.76 Enotria&Coe

Ogier, Le Puits Neuf, Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2013, Rhône, France

Commended medal winner

Ogier, Clos de l'Oratoire des Papes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2012, Rhône, France

Commended medal winner

£22.00 Matthew Clark

Boutinot Fide et Arte, La Côte Sauvage, Cairanne Côtes du Rhône Villages 2011, Rhône , France

Commended medal winner

£7.90 Boutinot

Boutinot Fide et Arte, Les Six, Cairanne Côtes du Rhône Villages 2011, Rhône , France

Commended medal winner

£8.50 Boutinot

Boutinot, Domaine Bresquières, Les Contreforts, Ventoux 2012, Rhône , France

Commended medal winner

£6.40 Boutinot

Boutinot, Les Banquettes Escarpées, Rasteau 2012, Rhône, France

Commended medal winner

£7.65 Boutinot

Jean-Luc Colombo, La Tuilière, Crozes-Hermitage 2012, Rhône, France

Commended medal winner

Colombo & Fille, Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2012, Rhône, France

Commended medal winner

£14.99 Hatch Mansfield

Colombo & Fille, Côtes du Rhône 2013, Rhône, France

Commended medal winner

Domaine Chante Cigale, Vieilles Vignes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2012, Rhône, France

Commended medal winner

£24.85 Boutinot

Domaine du Monteillet, Cuvée du Papy, St-Joseph 2012, Rhône , France

Commended medal winner

£16.85 Boutinot

Jaboulet, Les Jalets, Crozes-Hermitage Rouge 2012, Rhône , France

Commended medal winner

£12.18 Bibendum

 

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