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The Rhône Rangers

I’ve tried it, once. I’m not totally allergic to 15% wines but I thought this was just very ordinary. No harm done in trying a bottle – but no character, no Rhone typicity, just generic southern French plonk. At TWS, the Courac and the Rive Droite, Rive Gauche are both far superior for the price, IMO. At Tesco, the Finest Rioja reserva is drinkable, in the same price band.

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Nothing wrong with a punt - good casserole wine at the worst!

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The southern Rhones from 14 in that price bracket are showing very nicely now aren’t they. Currently thoroughly enjoying a box of Vinsobres Reference and Brusset Rastau. Lovelly vibrant freshness and lift.

A post was merged into an existing topic: Weekend drinking thread [20th - 22nd November 2020]

Wine merchanting is a competitive market and TWS strategy seems to be to focus on sell, sell, sell. I think TWS community plays a key, probably intentional, part in that strategy, which is why i have previously labled them as TWS marketing department. X cases left is a cynical play on fomo IMHO aimed at furthering that strategy… Edit, I would like to see less of it…

Did you mean to post this in this thread, or the weekend drinking thread? :slightly_smiling_face:

Quite right, wrong forum! :grimacing:

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I moved it to the weekend drinking thread now :grinning: Hope that’s OK.

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And to cheer you up, before Christmas has even arrived. :open_mouth:
Spare a thought, regarding your budget regarding the Rhone 2019 EP offer.
There is plenty of information about regarding which appellations that did well, and not so much.
You may have bought plenty from 2015/6/7/8 so now only looking to do a quality top-up.
There again, for all sorts of reasons; you have been late to the party. :open_mouth:
You really will need to be focused for 2019, where you spend your money.
In 8 weeks the offer will drop into our Inboxes.
Will you have done your/any research, or will your trousers lie ankle high?!!? :wink: :rofl:
It is never too early to start, even start a notebook, when you see a good & informative snippit.
Are your subscriptions up-to-date for the likes of DrinkRhone.com, Vinous, Advocate or Jeb Dunnuck??
Every year when the Rhone offer is sent out, Members ask for advice.
But if you had paid several subscriptions to sites that had published the best performing wines, how charitable might you be to those who did not and were scrambling for freebee advice??
When one sees a good 6 bottle case of Hermitage, Cote Rotie or CH9dP selling EP for £200-300+, there is false economy in going it alone.
It is never too early to formulate a plan, and there is a time when one discovers that resources have been diverted elsewhere, no homework has been done and you are sat in the examination room, most are writing furiously and you have no pen or cogent thoughts to transfer to your booklet! :wink::+1: :dragon:


My plan is to Buy All The Wine. I’m very low on Rhone stock, having missed out entirely on 2018.

Are there any decent non-subscription over-views of which general regions did well or badly? My understanding is that there aren’t any big losers or winners, other than hail in Crozes-hermitage.

Other than that, I’m just going to work my way through the A-Z of EP offer complaints.


I’d already had it in mind to have that Rene Rostaing Fest. None of the reading I’ve done so far has put me off this idea.

I’ll probably also pick up (at a minimum) some of the Ogier La Rosine Viognier, regardless.

DrinkRhone.com costs a laughable £25 per annum.
The price of a decent bottle of wine.
If you are not prepared to pay that minimal sum, then Sir - any errors of judgement will be on you. I think that you will find that many Rhone fans on here subscribe, because it gives them an edge or at least levels the playing field. Good Luck!! :+1: :wink: :dragon:


Fair enough. It looks like a good site.

in all seriousness, i think my strategy is to fill my boots with the cheaper reds from the Southern Rhone, and perhaps take a punt on a mixed case or two. My budget doesn’t stretch to the lofty heights of anything more.


Could try


Or maybe register for Justerini’s weninar on wednesday


Bit of info on Tanners who seem to already have their ep out


I was interested to read the first tranche of Jancis Robinson Rhone 2019 reviews today, covering CNDP. Got quite excited at the excellent scores of Clos des Papes and Beaucastel and was thinking this was going to be an epic vintage across the board and as I scrolled down realised that there seems to be a big disparity as most of the others got mediocre scores. Don’t think I’ve seen an article with so many wines below 16/20…

Meanwhile there seems to be no reason to buy either of the top scorers en primeur given you can get even the best vintages in the market at a similar price to the 2019s.


Will be interesting to see how the N Rhone compares. Usually little point in a lot of the CNDP estates EP, as you say, easy to pick up on the secondary market.

Word is that North did well with the exception of those Crozes estates wiped out (or nearly so) by the big hailstorm. I believe Cote Rotie is supposed to be excellent. Also Gigondas in the South.


Is it just me, or do the traditional French regions seem to produce hype about excellent vintages every year? As far as I can read between the lines, it sounds very hot again and I intend to be very cautious (despite being the 3rd hottest year on record, the wines remained fresh - isn’t it amazing how they always do until a few years later!)

I think it’s the expedited selling of EP that lets it happen; for wines other than classic French regions the critics are tasting wines at a much more reasonable point in their development.


Hype or overselling is the very essence of en primeur. In the case of the Rhone we’ve only just had two vintages of the century in 2010 and 2016 with all the other vintages this century having lots of merits, depending on your stylistic preferences.
One thing that has changed dramatically is the ability of wine growers and makers to deal with and anticipate hot weather conditions. You only have to go back and taste a range of 2007 Southern Rhone to realise how much better today’s wines are made.


I only bought a few Rhone 2018s, based on vintage reports and an EP tasting put on by J&B (where the wines tasted much less good than at 2017 EP tastings), but the two I’ve opened so far have both been really good actually… so I’ll be back for 2019.

I preferred the 2017 whites to the 2018 whites in bottle though - latter seem a bit flabby whilst with the reds it’s more a stylistic than a quality thing.