Exciting white Rhone recommendations?

I recently shared a bottle of Dard & Ribo Crozes Hermitage blanc, and absolutely loved it. Delicious and fascinating, combining saline/oxidative/mineral qualities reminiscent of Jura or Canary Island whites with a beautiful rich, honeyed oiliness… very special!

However, it’s a pretty hard wine to find - expensive and fashionable and produced in small qualities… it got me thinking that while I’ve enjoyed most (all?) white Rhones I’ve tried I’ve not drunk very many and don’t know anything about them really… any reccomendations?


It’s not available from TWS but the most memorable white Rhone I’ve had recently was Colombier’s Cuvee Gaby Blanc- I think the '17 (which is available at Davy’s). Dense and textured but very fresh- I really thought it was great.


What price bracket are you thinking? Is Beaucastel Vieilles Vignes out?!

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Here are three favourites




There’s another inexpensive viognier from Maison des Alexandrins due next month. If the earlier vintage I had is anything to go by that would also be one to try.


White Rhone has more categories than red for me; generally the reds divide into syrah dominated or grenache dominated for the most part, whereas viognier, marsanne/roussane (not that the single varieties taste the same but the ageing profile is similar), clairette based and the other southern Rhone things you find (e.g. white grenache or vermentino) all taste and age remarkably differently.

Sticking with marsanne/roussane (which I assume your Crozes was) at the WS I would say the EP selection tends to be pretty good (I tend to like the Cuilleron ones as much as his viogniers for example) but thee’s rarely much that I think is great on the regular list - Dom du Tunnel whites occasionally show up and are an exception. Incidentally, I think other Southern France whites (e.g. Languedoc) are well worth investigating - Leon Stolarski has a pretty good selection.


Has anyone tried this yet? Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc, Couzou, Jean-Luc Jamet 2019

I Jean-Luc Jamet is in a similar ball park to Dard et Ribo in my head so could be good, although I’m yet to try.

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White Rhône has become one of my favourite wine categories in the last few years. They often offer excellent value for money, charm and generosity.

Thumbs up for the Clos des Cazaux mentioned above, I also really like this Saint Pèray and this delightful recent find from Chateau St Cosme. I love all of Cuilleron’s single varieties too - e.g. the Viognier and Marsanne

The Cave Merlin Condrieu 2019 is worth a mention too - absolutely wonderful expression of Viognier, and I also really enjoyed Comtesse Madeleine from Château de Montfaucon.

There are probably lots of others, but the above came to mind first… :slight_smile:


Obviously so many options here, but a couple that I have had recently that have stood out (both EP purchases through TWS)…

Francois Merlin Condrieu Les Terroirs - rich, intense, slightly oily Condrieu. Good aroma. Lovely food wine.

Chapoutier Chante Alouette - very good white Hermitage. Obviously as Hermitage it isn’t cheap, but this was good value compared with some of the other names and real depth of flavour. Still have some 2016 which is maturing nicely.

The other really worth keeping an eye out for is the Society Exhibition Hermitage Blanc. I’ve had multiple vintages of this, and it has hit the spot every time. I think the last ones to be offered were 2015 and 2017 in Nov 2021 so maybe due another vintage to be offered soon…?


So I was typing at the same time as @Inbar. Two votes for the Merlin Condrieu in parallel…


A bottle arrived yesterday, might try this weekend.

I’m waiting for the Mont Redon C9dp to come on the list again, super wine and good value.

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More votes for the Cazaux Vacqueyras & Cosme Principaute here.

Also look out for the Jaboulet Mule-Blanche C-H, which sounds like it might be right up your street. Marsanne-Rousanne (seems to be my favourite white Rhone blend), a bit of oak, quite rich with some of that nutty, oxidative character.

Sadly not on the list at the moment, but it does pop up occasionally. It was available in halfs when I last got some which were an ideal format for us.


Thanks for so many quick and thoughtful responses! Look forward to tasting lots of these…

Great topic -will also jump on some of these suggestions as my previous EP orders are nearly gone

Just to add, ones that I’ve especially like are:
Clos des Papes Blanc- Not cheap… but it’s rich, concentrated, almost sweet, the flavours seem to intensify with time in the mouth, good fresh citrus acidity, spicy.
Domaine de Saint Cosme Principauté d’ Orange Blanc- similar to previous posts, stone fruit, a little oiliness, lime, salinity. Excellent value.
Chapoutier St Peray Les Tanneurs. Had a few of these- stone fruits at the fore with citrus acidity
Bernard Gripa St Peray Les Figuiers- just opened one today, still evaluating it but it’s really lovely, creamy, stone fruits, a little nuts/honey.

It can be a bit hit and miss, eg, some white Rhones seem to be really closed off (eg Cecillon Marsanne), and some good but not quite there (Tunnel). Maybe personal preference. I think it’s try a bunch and see what producers hit the spot. More exciting than white Burgundy in my opinion. There, I’ve said it.


Of course there’s the Beaucastel trinity…

Beaucastel Coudoulet - utterly dependable. Good value year in, year out.

Beaucastel: getting expensive, but super wine. Fresh, elegant, good to drink young, but also ages beautifully.

Beaucastel Vielles Vignes: top of the tree. Intense, powerful, but can be amazing.


From my forays into white Rhone, which I’m not a little partial to, I’ve often found myself enjoying the good value ones as much as the more expensive ones. So I certainly do enjoy the occasional Fleur du Crussol and the Bernard Gripa Les Figuiers. Amazing wines IMO.

But I think you get so much vinous bang for your buck with many of the less expensive ones that I tend to focus on those and save my limited resources for other whites instead.

In particular I’d say the Maby La Fermade, the Château Juvenal Les Ribes du Vallat, and the [mentioned above] Saint Cosme Principauté d’Orange. And of course the Clos des Cazaux [also mentioned above]. These give a whole lot of pleasure & enjoyment at their price-point IMO. Needless to say, I do like clairette!

The important thing I’ve found for how I like white Rhones myself is to decant them, sometimes for quite a time even; it really seems to bring out their depths and nuances. If you do one of those 4 above over 2-3-4 nights, it’s sometimes like the same bottle is 2-3-4 different wines as they open up and develop. They become sumptuous and gloriously luscious with good time open, I find.

The only white Rhone I’ve found myself disappointed by to date is, as per @m4rk above, the Julien Cecillon Marsanne. I found it rather bitter and boring, and it stubbornly remained that way despite my best efforts to coax something out of it over about a week open.


Personal favourites for me include:-

*Le Grand Courtil, Crozes Hermitage, Ferraton. Only usually offered by TWS as part of the EP campaign but strangely missing in 2021. Instead the red cropped up… I served the 2017 at my 60th birthday dinner and it was superb. Very Hermitage in style - but a lot cheaper. I managed to find another case - but it is made in tiny quantities so hard to get.

*The Maison Blanche, Crozes Hermitage from Vins de Vienne is another favourite. It is not as rich and full as the Grand Courtil but is very food friendly - especially with the likes of cod and monkfish. Only seen offered EP - keep an eye open for the 2021 Rhone EP remaining stocks just in case.

*St Joseph Lieu Dit Saint Joseph, Guigal. I have had a soft spot for this for some years but it went up a gear from 2018. Needs decanting to get the best out of it. Having failed to get this EP from TWS I buy a case (12) every year elsewhere. If any comes up on the 2021 Rhone EP remaining stocks list I won’t hesitate.

*Prestige, St Peray, Domain du Tunnel. Saint-Péray Prestige, Domaine du Tunnel 2019 I’ve not had this vintage but previous experiences have been great. I am less keen on their single varietal whites (Marsanne and Rousanne).


Just to add it seems that some white Rhones seem to close down after a time; apparently they do come back but I’ve not tried anything more than a few years old

They very definitely do. I remember the 1983 Chevalier de Sterimberg shutting down for almost a decade! It then emerged triumphantly.


I might have to try one of them