Rhone Rangers v2

Thanks @MattH and @Claret1961. You could well be right @MattH but as @Claret1961 says it is only one of 12 and maybe worth a go. These things tend to start winking at you from the rack when the thought of broaching one presents itself.

Looking forward to @VinoVeritas tasting notes too. Good to hear they are approachable

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So, here goes… I am actually quite pleased with my approach to this Lea and Sandeman Rhone tasting. I read all the notes in advance and highlighted producers and wines that I really wanted to try. When this reached more than half the total number of wines - circa 100, I knew I’d have to compromise and even more, spitting almost all wine would be essential.

Starting with the whites and a pair of rosés, the First one was a cracker:
Domaine le Sollier - Les Alisiers 2021. A lovely blend of viognier, sauvignon blanc, vermentino and chardonnay. Fresh, fruity, aromatic and just delicious.

Domaine G&J Bott. First flight viognier 2020 Initially an odd nose, but that soon disappeared leaving a pleasant wine, but not much more. Better was their Saint-Joseph Blanc 2021 which had good acidity, was rich without being too full or flabby and would be great with a creamy pasta sauce.

Not enjoyed was the Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc 2021 from Domaine de Cristia - immediately it had a texture that I didn’t like and perhaps too much oak influence.
Much better were the two Tavel rosés from Domaine de la Mordorée - some suggestions of richness, great deep pink colour and a perfect balance of acidity, alcohol and fruit. The cheaper (£20.95) La Dame Rousse 2021 was my favourite and compared well to those I’ve had from Dom. Maby.

With so many reds to try from some wineries, the plan was an entry level wine as well as a more complex bottle that was still within budget, sort of.

Northern Rhone.
The Crozes-Hermitage vie Magne 2020 from Domaine Remi Niero was excellent - superb nose, smooth taste and £105 IB for a case of six.
A more expensive wine was the Côte Rôtie Damas Pourpre 2020 from Clos de la Bonnette. Superb syrah nose, so enticing! Full, tasty, smooth tannins, no harshness. Great quality, but at £205 for six, it’s not inexpensive.

To be continued.


I’d be curious to know the alcohol levels on these, as I think that was one of the major concerns with recent vintages.

I just wanted to add my small input. Last night I opened a bottle of
Rasteau Domaine des Escaravailles Argilla Ad Argillam red 2019, which was awarded 4.5* and STGT and value by JLL.

It was very rich, with loads of fruit, but drinking very nicely. I have the rest of the bottle to try today, but it was a real pleasure to drink and look forward to drinking the other five in time.


Hello - to be honest I didn’t check many wines for this detail. Only one or two tasted ‘hot’ and those that I did have a look at the label were mainly in the 13.5 - 14.5% range. Can’t say as I noticed any at 15% or more.

I opened my first of these a month or so ago. I concur with your comments. It wears its 15% quite lightly.

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A few Rhone highlights in the Museum release that’s gone live today:


I know I keep banging on about this but I really wish they would take more care with their data entry. If you do a search for Altitude 420 this wine does not come up as they have omitted the ‘420’ from the name and yet it is an integral part of the name.


That Thalabert has rocketed in price. I bought the very same case of 3 magnums in 2019 for £150.

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Oof. That’s quite a jump. Still, at least the new regime has got our economy fully under control now, no more inflation for us…


Thanks for that, one magum of Gigondas winging its way :laughing:

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This is when no min spend free delivery really comes in handy!

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Popped a bottle for a taste and will finish tomorrow.

It is along the lines I had hoped for. A touch more concentrated than the lighter one (different wine) tasted in Italy but yes drinking on the fruit.

A fruit forward nose, dark fruits, blackcurrant led, vanilla and parma violets.

No bitterness from non integrated tannins. No high acidity with a view to a long ageing profile. All in working order now :slight_smile: good news being bottle 1 of 12.

Pleasant enjoyable drinking. More so than a non balanced rhone beast that may need years to “come round” (have experienced a few of those) :slight_smile:

Thanks for the advice!


Lea and Sandeman Rhône wine tasting - Continued…

Apologies for the delay, work and a busy weekend got in the way.
Now for some Côte-Rôte… Domaine Patrick & Christophe Bonnefond had four examples to taste and I went for the 2020 Colline de Couzou which was excellent - tangy, some up-front tannins, but also smooth; probably worth the case price of £165.
At just £55 for a case of six, the entry level 2020 Sensation du Nord Syrah was more accessible, as expected, and delivered a tasty and classic syrah.

The next producer had another four Côte-Rôte wines to try, these being from the 2019 vintage. I went up a price bracket (or two) with Domaine Benjamin et David Duclaux and really enjoyed their 2019 La Germine (£175 a case), but it was the 2019 Maison Rouge that received five ticks - delicious, aromatic, bags of flavour and £260.

Domaine Clusel-Roch was eagerly anticipated, but in fact, the two C-R wines tasted were a tad disappointing, especially at the price. The 2020 Vacqueyras from Domaine La Bouïssière was excellent - sweetish, fresh, tangy and delicious - everything you want from this part of the southern Rhône. I decided to save some taste buds and declined their Gigondas.

An interesting comparison at Domaine de la Vieille Julienne was the seemingly expensive (£25.95) Côtes du Rhône - High acid, but good flavour vs their ‘absolutely delicious’ 2019 Châteauneuf du Pape Les Trois Sources - a fantastic wine, but at £65.95 per bottle, a lot of money.
A very, very good 2017 Crozes-Hermitage - Cuvée Lhony from D. Gaylord Machon earned five ticks and was well worth £23.50. Even better were the two wines from D. Giles Robin - the 2021 Crozes-Hermitage Cuvée Papillon was fresh, full and with a decent acidity. Very long and one wine that was swallowed with relish. Even better was the 2020 C-H Cuvée Albéric Bouvet and good value at £24.50.

Domaine Lionnet presented three lovely wines from Cornas, a wine I’ve sometimes found too ‘heavy’ and not always enjoyable. All three wines were full, dense and richly flavoured. The top wine - 2020 Cornas Chaillot Dom. Lionnet was amazingly concentrated, but needs time and not cheap at £220IB. The 2020 Cornas Pur Grannit had the most amazing smoky nose, but I enjoyed the Terre Brulée the most and good value at £165 per case IB.

Finally, I enjoyed several of the wines from Domaine des Escaravailles, a producer known to me through TWS. Six wines were presented, starting with their delicious La Galopine Côtes du Rhône Blanc. The best red - and ordered after the event - was the 2020 Rasteau Heritage 1924. Absolutely fabulous nose, evident tannin, but great balance and delicious black fruit flavours.

A great tasting, so important to get used to swirling, tasting and spitting, otherwise one would be completely poleaxed. Even so, my tongue felt quite pickled after 90 minutes - it’s a hard job, tasting wine!


I’ve just had cause to pop back into the original Rhone thread to check up on something from back in early 2020.
Took me a while to find what what I was looking for and in the process I re read loads of stuff put up by Taffy on Tour. It was wonderful. Like getting lost in a good book, an hour just whizzed by. So knowledgable, so free and easy with his advice, so happy to share.
What a great loss to these threads.
One couldn’t help wondering though what must have happened to the priceless collection of wines he’d put together.
RIP Taffy.


Have I missed something, has Taffy passed away?

Sadly yes:


Bidforwine have had a few good ‘feature auctions’ in recent months including quite a lot of cases from TWS Reserves - I have no real evidence to connect the two but I did wonder. Anyway I hope his enviable cellar goes to a home that appreciates it half as much as he did.




I’m quite a fan of white rhone wines… anyone had experiences of the above?

How very sad, even more so that it does not feel that long ago he was posting here.