St Joseph and Cornas also provide wines of weight and worth, but the best source for good value is Crozes-Hermitage, a satellite appellation which has come alive in the last few years with the arrival of young blood.
The river valley widens out south of Valence into Côtes du Rhône country on the windy alluvial plains and the lower slopes of the hills. It is a most imposing sight during the cold, clear, blue skies of Mistral conditions. The best of the wine villages of the Côtes du Rhône have been promoted to their own appellations - Vinsobres, Vacqueyras - close in quality to the better known Gigondas.
The king of the southern Rhône is Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Here the galets roulés, rounded rocks from the ancient river bed, provide the context for gloriously rich red wines that are redolent of the heat and herbs of the south, and enhanced by the complexity which comes from blending several grape varieties. Thirteen are permitted in all, but Grenache usually dominates, along with Syrah and Mourvèdre in support. A fine vintage needs eight to 10 years cellaring for best results.
If your taste runs to fuller, richer, relatively exotic white wines, then perhaps a white Hermitage or Châteauneuf-du-Pape from the Rhône Valley would suit better, or else a marvellously perfumed, heady Condrieu - headquarters of the Viognier grape.
Hermitage is a wine appellation located in the northern Rhône region of France. The history of winemaking in this area dates back to the Roman times, and the...
Hermitage is a wine appellation located in the northern Rhône region of France. The history of winemaking in this area dates back to the Roman times, and the appellation has been recognized for its exceptional wines since the 17th century.
The production of Hermitage wines is strictly regulated, with only red and white wines made from specific grape varieties allowed to bear the Hermitage name. The red wines are made from Syrah grapes, while the white wines are made from Marsanne and Roussanne grapes.
The production process for Hermitage wines is meticulous, with the grapes hand-harvested and sorted before being fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. The red wines are then aged in oak barrels for up to 18 months, while the white wines are aged in oak for up to 12 months.
The resulting wines are known for their complexity and depth of flavor. Hermitage red wines are full-bodied with intense aromas of black fruit, spice, and leather. They have a firm tannic structure and a long, lingering finish. Hermitage white wines are rich and full-bodied with aromas of honey, apricot, and toasted nuts. They have a creamy texture and a long, complex finish.
Hermitage wines are some of the most sought-after in the world, with prices to match. They are often described as the pinnacle of Rhône winemaking, and are highly prized by collectors and connoisseurs alike.
In conclusion, Hermitage is a historic and prestigious wine appellation that produces some of the finest wines in the world. The strict regulations and meticulous production process ensure that only the highest quality wines bear the Hermitage name. Whether you are a collector or simply a lover of fine wine, Hermitage is a must-try for anyone looking to experience the best that the Rhône region has to offer.