2015 was a great vintage in much of Europe. The Bordelais were first to alert the world that this was something very special on both banks of the Gironde - and many agreed. Critics and consumers were unanimous in agreement that Burgundy had a great 2015 and now it is time to shine the light on another classic region which is just releasing its fantastic offerings: The Rhône also had a stonking 2015.

Yes, it was hot and the season came early - but the Rhône likes hot, the local varieties, particularly Syrah, coped well especially after a damp, cooler 2014 which meant the water reserves in the soil were good - and the rains in mid-August came at the perfect moment to stop the vines getting too stressed and the grapes’ ripening was kept in check.

The grapes did get ripe, but thankfully the best wines are not too rich or broad - there is an underlying brightness, a surprising zip of acidity threading through the wines we have tasted that keeps them sparky, lithe and very enticing. This is thanks to such a long, steady season with cooler nights, where grape-skins thicken-up to cope with the relentless UV - and that water again - saving the day at the right time. So, we have excellent fruit character and a delicious intensity combined with just the right level of acidity to balance. The 2015s are a perfect combination.

As always there is a North-South divide in the Rhône in 2015 - with the North perhaps just edging it in terms of sheer class - but this year sees the gap much less dramatic than in some vintages.

For many years we have been working with some stars from each end of the valley - our friends at Domaine Clusel-Roch in Ampuis and Gilles Robin in Crozes-Hermitage in the North and in the South the stellar Domaine de la Mordorée as well as the charming Jean Royer at Domaine Royer who is punching well above his weight in Chateauneuf du Pape.

These are all wines that we highly recommend and they really do represent amazing value when you look at your other options at these prices. 2015 is in high demand and deserves the attention of any wine lover.

Northern Rhône | Southern Rhône | Other Rhône


‘If you have any enthusiasm at all for red Rhône, 2015 is a vintage not to be missed.’
Jancis Robinson

‘The good news is that almost all the appellations excelled, and there’s a wealth of outstanding wines. It’s almost impossible to find a bad wine, and the top wines are full-bodied, pure and concentrated, with notable tannin.’
Jeb Dunnuck, www.robertparker.com on Southern Rhone 2015