Archive for the ‘Rhône Valley’ Category

Chapoutier, Rhône Valley

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Location: France, Rhône Valley, Northern Rhône

With the arrival in 1987 of Michel and Marc Chapoutier at their family’s negociant house of M. Chapoutier, a total change of style emerged from the cellars in Tain l’Hermitage.

Michel Chapoutier on the hill of the HermitageGone were wines that were aged too long in old wood, and in their place came in hugely powerful examples of Hermitage and other reds from Crozes-Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Côte-Rôtie. Elegance has now been added to the power of the wines, which are produced bio-dynamically from a 240-acre estate.

Recent purchases of vineyards in Australia (Mount Benson), in Côteaux d’Aix-en-Provence (Domaine des Béates), in Côteaux de Tricastin (Domaine des Estubiers) and in Banyuls in the late 1990’s show the family’s expansion policies.

Winery address:
18 avenue Docteur-Paul-Durand, 26600, Tain l’Hermitage
Phone: +33 4 75 08 28 65

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Cornas, development, and international style

Monday, September 24th, 2007

Location: France, Rhône Valley, Northern Rhône, Cornas

The Rhône Valley is beautiful. Currently the Cornas part is threatened to be uglified. In France, the entity for building authorisations is the municipality. So the debate should grow locally during the campaign for the next municipal elections in March 2008.

Anyway here is a primer on a prominent local grower: Jean-Luc Colombo.

Jean-Luc Colombo in his Les Ruchets vineyard, by Winekakis.comFrom his beautiful farm high up behind the village of Cornas, Jean-Luc Colombo manages to be a domaine owner, a negociant and a wine consultant for many of the most important producers in the region.

His vines, forming Vignobles Jean-Luc Colombo, occupy 55 acres in the appellations of Cornas and Côtes du Rhône. The benchmark from these vineyards is the Cornas Les Ruchets, a powerful syrah with 45 percent new-wood aging. A recent addition to the range is La Louvée which is a special vineyard selection.

As a negociant, Colombo keeps the wine he buys in the producer’s cellar rather than bringing it to his own.

Jean-Luc and his wife, Anne, founded Le Centre Oenologique des Côtes du Rhône in 1984. As a consultant, his influence, particularly in the use of new wood for aging, has been considerable in the Rhône valley. His winemaking style is international.

Winery address:
Jean-Luc Colombo

Pied La Vigne, Cornas
Phone: +33 (0) 4 75 40 36 09

Guigal, Rhône Valley

Monday, September 17th, 2007

Location: France, Rhône Valley, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie

Guigal is a big name in Côte-Rôtie, where vines have been cultivated for 24 centuries. With his cuvées such as Brune et Blonde, La Turque, La Mouline and La Landonne, Marcel Guigal has led the revival in the appellation that has put it among the top red-wine regions of France.

Guigal winemaking incorporates the pure fruit from low yields in the vineyard with new oak in the cellars. Recent additions to the whites include strict temperature control during fermentation.

Having taken control of Vidal-Fleury, the other major négociant in Côte-Rôtie, Guigal now manages more than a third of the production of the appellation. The firm also produces a white Condrieu and larger quantities of Côtes du Rhône.

Winery address:
Château d’Ampuis
69420 Ampuis
Phone: +33 4 74 56 10 22