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Rhône 2010 - Parker Reviews & Top Wines

Reviewed by Robert Parker in the Wine Advocate: Two Terrific Vintages in the Southern Rhone - October 2011

For a guide to Parker's recommended wines, see the lists below. 2010 is a great vintage that comes close in quality to 2007 in the southern Rhône. Some producers think 2010 eclipses 2007 because of the wines’ vivid freshness and focus. Throughout the southern Rhône, the hallmarks of the vintage are very dense purple, sometimes even blue/black colors as well as higher acid levels that have not been seen since 2004 and 2001.

In fact, 2010's paradox is that I can’t remember a vintage so concentrated, powerful and rich that also has such zesty acidity... The downside is that following the relatively moderate to small crop in 2009, the 2010 crop was very small, largely because 30-40% of the Grenache crop (the dominant grape varietal of the southern Rhône) was lost due to a coulure and millerandage. This has undoubtedly contributed to the level of concentration in the final wines. However, if a producer usually makes 1,000 cases in a normal vintage, his 2010 production will be closer to 500-700 cases.

The 2010s will have significant aging potential, which is obvious in the level of tannins, but the tannins are sweet with exceptional elegance and finesse. The ratio of high extractive and phenolic skins to the juice has produced wines of extraordinary intensity, freshness, aromatic potential and obvious longevity.

This is another great vintage that offers an embarrassment of riches for this region that has enjoyed a succession of extraordinary years. Since 1998, the top years have been 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003 (for a dozen or so estates), 2005, 2006 (which is very underrated and probably the finest value among all the appellations of the last 15 or so years), 2007 (the greatest vintage I have ever tasted in the southern Rhône), 2009 and 2010 (which is very close in quality to 2007).

Top Northern reds
Wine Score
Chapoutier Ermitage Cuvee de l'Oree 98-100
Chapoutier Hermitage Vin de Paille 98-100
Chapoutier Ermitage l'Ermite 98-100
Chapoutier Ermitage le Pavillon Rouge 98-100
Ermitage Rouge, Le Méal, Michel Chapoutier 96-100
Alain Voge Cornas Vieilles Fontaines 95-97
Chapoutier Crozes Hermitage les Varonniers 94-96
Perrin et Fils Vinsobres, Vieilles Vignes, les Hauts de Julien 93-95
Dom. du Tunnel (Stephane Robert) St Peray, Roussanne 93
Rene Rostaing, Cote Rotie, Cote Blonde 93-96
Hermitage Rouge, Le Gréal, Dom. Marc Sorrel 92-94+
St Peray, Cuvée Prestige, Dom. Du Tunnel 92
Cornas, Dom. du Tunnel 91-93
Côte-Rôtie, La Landonne, Dom. René Rostaing 91-94
St Joseph Rouge, Les Granits, Michel Chapoutier 91-94
Cornas, Les Vieilles Vignes, Dom. Alain Voge 91-94
Cornas, Dom. Pierre Gaillard 90-93
Cornas, Les Chailles, Dom. Alain Voge 90-92

Top Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds
Wine Score
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Les Grenaches de Pierre, Dom. Giraude 98-100
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Cuvée Da Capo, Rouge, Dom. du Pegau 98-100
Dom. de la Janasse Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Vieilles Vignes 98-100
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Cuvée Reserve Rouge, Dom. du Pegau 97-99
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Impériale, Dom. Raymond Usseglio 96-100
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, La Reine des Bois, Dom. de la Mordorée 96-98
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Barbe Rac Michel Chapoutier 95-97
Clos des Papes, Chateauneuf du Pape 96-98
Dom. Giraud Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee les Gallimardes 95-97
Chateau de la Nerthe Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee des Cadettes 95-97
Dom. de la Charbonniere Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Vieilles Vignes 93-95
Beaucastel, Chateauneuf du Pape Roussanne, Vieilles Vignes 94
La Roquete, Chateauneuf du Pape, l'Accent de Roquete 93-95
Beaucastel, Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge 92-94+
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, La Part des Anges, Dom. Raymond Usseglio 91-93+
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Cuvée Classique, Dom. de Marcoux 91-93
Châteauneuf du Pape, Cuvée Prestige Dom. Roger Sabon 91-93
Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, La Crau, Dom. du Vieux Télégraphe 91-94
Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Ch. la Nerthe 91-93
Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Dom. de la Charbonnière 91-93

Other Southern red top picks
Wine Score
Côtes du Rhône Village, Terre d'Argile, Dom. de la Janasse 92-94
Perrin et Fils, Gigondas Clos des Tourelles 92-94
Gigondas, Les Racines, Dom. Les Pallières, Vignobles Brunier 91-93
Gigondas, Confidentiel, Dom. Montirius 91-94
Gigondas, La Terre Des Aînés, Dom. Montirius 90-92

Top whites
Wine Score
Chapoutier Ermitage l'Ermite Blanc 98-100
Ermitage Blanc, Le Méal, Michel Chapoutier 96-98
Chateau de la Nerthe, Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc, Clos de Beauvenir 94
Hermitage Blanc, Dom. Marc Sorrel 90-92

Rhône 2010 En Primeur - Reports & Recommendations